Euro Conference Latvia
On 1 January 2014 Latvia will become the 18th member of the euro area. To mark this occasion and to reflect on the progress achieved so far in the economic governance of the euro area, as well as discuss the remaining challenges and the best way forward, Bank of Latvia in collaboration with the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Latvia hosted the Euro Conference Latvia on 12 September 2013 in Riga, Latvia. As part of the event, the President of the ECB Mr. Draghi presented the Governor of the Bank of Latvia Mr. Rimšēvičs with a Euro Star, a symbolic key to the euro area.
On the irrevocably fixed exchange rate of the lats to the euro
As the Bank of Latvia has already notified before, the changeover to the euro as of 1 January 2014 will be based on the current exchange rate of the lats to the euro set by the Bank of Latvia (0.702804), whereby each lats equals 1.42 euro. The irrevocable fixing of the lats conversion rate at this level will increase the support to the euro changeover in Latvia in the coming months.
Latvia has met the Maastricht criterion in the evaluation period
Over the year, inflation continued to drop, annual prediction for the year made in December still valid
Budget deficit in the last 3 years has been brought under control, but have to proceed with caution
GDP will grow slower in 2012, possibly requiring additional budget consolidation.
As a result of a national competition of ideas, it was decided that the Latvian 1 euro and 2 would feature a historic symbol: the profile of a Latvian folk maid, an image used on the silver 5 lats coin. 10 cent, 20 cent and 50 cent coins would feature the large coat of arms of the Republic of Latvia, whereas 1 cent, 2 cent and 5 cent coins would depict the small coat of arms of the Republic of Latvia.
The Bank of Latvia, the country's central bank, is an independent institution that sets and executes monetary policy, manages the foreign currency and gold reserves, emits cash currency and ensures the functioning of the interbank settlement systems, and aggregates financial statistics. The Bank of Latvia is a participant in the system of European Central Banks.