[notice noticeType=”info” ]Photo: Press conference speakers (from left): Noris Krūzītis, CEO, Latvian Food Retailers Association Arina Andreičika, Head of Euro Bureau, Ministry of Finance Jānis Blūms, Head of Cashier’s and Money Operations Department, Bank of Latvia Mārtiņš Bičevskis, President, Association of Latvian Commercial Banks Ilva Pudule, Key Account Manager, TNS Market, social and media research agency[/notice]

January 15 marked the end of the most intensive part of the changeover to the euro and it is now time to start assessing the accession of Latvia to the euro zone.
Dace Kalsone (Euro project leader, Ministry of Finance) passes the euro baton of success – backpack with the guidelines of the euro introduction – to Lithuania – next euro zone candidate

Analysis of the Latvian situation and the experience of other States which have lately joined the euro zone leads to conclude that our experience might be of value to other Member States that will be joining the Economic and Monetary Union. Latvia can share the competence it has gained about the technical arrangements for the transition in various sectors of economy, exchange of the cash in circulation and providing important practical information to the public.

“In order to assess how successful our changeover to the euro has proved nationwide and for each of us, we could start by asking ourselves the simple question whether January 2014 has been any different from all the previous years. Like every year before, we celebrated New Year, the ATMs were dispensing euros immediately after midnight, bank cards were working without disruption and public services were fully functional on January 2, i. e. the first working day of the year. In many of the Member States which are now part of the euro zone such a smooth changeover has hardly been a matter-of-course, and indeed it provides a reference point for those States that are going to join the euro zone after Latvia,” states Finance Minister Andris Vilks.