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Latvia to join euro currency in 201430th of July 2013
The European Parliament has given clearance for Latvia to adopt the euro currency in 2014, with MEPs commenting on the country's "extraordinary efforts" to overcome the financial crisis.
"Latvia has overcome the 2008 crisis by working very hard, painfully, but in the end successfully, on its budget consolidation," said German MEP Burkhard Balz.
Latvia was one of the hardest hit countries by the 2008-09 financial crisis - GDP fell by 20.5 per cent between 2007 and 2010. So the government implemented austerity measures and implemented structural reforms while maintaining the exchange rate pegged to the euro.
This allowed it to rebalance the economy, regain competitiveness and return to positive growth. As a result, productivity and the wage gap that opened during the boom years have closed and wage growth is now in line with productivity.
Latvian finance minister Andris Vilks said adopting the euro will complete Latvia's strategic goal of belonging to the core of Europe.