#AceBreakingNews – EUROPEAN UNION – Press Release – June 04 – Lithuania, the last Baltic nation outside the currency union, has been finally given green light to join the euro area, after its bid was turned down 8 years ago. The country could adopt a single currency on January 1, 2015.
“Lithuania’s readiness to adopt the euro reflects its long-standing support for prudent fiscal policies and economic reforms.
That reform momentum, driven in part by Lithuania’s EU accession ten years ago, has led to a striking increase in Lithuanians’ prosperity: the country’s per capita GDP has risen from just 35% of the EU28 average in 1995 to a projected 78% in 2015,” Olli Rehn, the European Commission Vice-President responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, said in the statement.
The ECB looked at eight European Union countries – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and Croatia. Only Lithuania met all the criteria to join.
The Council will make a final decision on the matter in the second half of July, after EU officials and state heads meet at the European Council from June 26-27.
Then the council will also agree on a set conversation rate for Lithuania’s currency the litas to the euro.
In order for a country to adopt the euro, it needs to tie its currency to the euro for a two-year period, as well as keep debt below 60 percent of GDP and inflation within 1.5 percentage points of the three lowest rates among the euro zone.
The European Commission said Lithuania’s key stumbling block of inflation has been overcome.