Euro family expands with 19th member Lithuania

GMT 05:10 2015 Thursday ,01 January

Arab Today, arab today Euro family expands with 19th member Lithuania

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite
Vilnius - XINHUA

Lithuania formally joined the eurozone on Thursday as the 19th member of the single currency bloc.
"The euro will be a guarantee of our economic and political security. It will enable us to more rapidly develop viable economy, which creates new jobs and increases people's income," Algirdas Butkevicius, Lithuania's Prime Minister, was quoted by ELTA news agency during the celebration of withdrawing 10 euros right after the New Year bell.
"I strongly believe that Lithuania will make the euro family stronger. We are the spearhead of economic growth," he added.
"Joining the eurozone is not only a victory for Lithuania. It's a victory for Estonia, for Latvia and the eurozone as a whole," said visiting Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas before he withdrew euro banknotes in Lithuania.
The circulation of euro underlines Lithuania's further integration with the European Union (EU) after it joined the bloc in 2004.
Most of the three million people of the Baltic country rejoiced at the new currency. They believed the adoption of the euro ushers in a new era of closer relations with European countries and would bring more benefits.
Butkevicius said in January 2013 that Lithuania would seek to adopt the euro in 2015. His cabinet took office in December 2012.
His idea was not supported in the political circles at first, for which he threatened to resign as prime minister, Butkevicius told local media on Tuesday.
In 2006, the Baltic country applied to introduce the euro in 2007, but failed because its inflation was higher than that required by the EU.
Lithuania's adoption of the euro brought the whole Baltic region into the single currency bloc, which would make the region found on the east side of the map of Europe more competitive and attractive in terms of business and investment, analysts said.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said earlier her country would be able to take part in the decisions after joining the club of the strongest.
"Borrowing for us will cost less, and investments will come as well," she said.
Lithuania's Baltic neighbors Estonia and Latvia joined the eurozone in 2011 and 2014 respectively.
European Union (EU),

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