Five years after the start of a severe economic and financial crisis and the grant of international financial aid Latvia is to integrate the euro zone on 1st January 2014. It will become its 18th member.
This accession will be the reward of an ambitious plan to bring public accounts up to speed and of an improvement in the country's competitiveness - even though there a few questions remain about the risk of renewed inflation and the weight of non-resident deposits in the local banking sector. ...
Public Opinion and the Euro
The adoption of the single currency has not been accepted by all of the political parties as shown by two votes in Parliament on the bill concerning how the transfer over to the euro was to take place. The emergency procedure required for the examination of this text planned for two readings. The two votes highlighted a real split over the issue: 53 votes in support 35 against in December 2012 then 52 votes in support, 40 against and 2 abstentions a month later. However MPs did not turn to the procedure planned for in article 72 of the Constitution whereby 34 MPs can ask for the adjournment of the promulgation of the bill. This reticence was echoed within the population. A survey published at the beginning of June 2013 indicated that only 36% of Latvians supported the euro. The government has expected a great deal of an information campaign on the introduction of the European currency which started mid-July. Some NGOs for their part have vainly tried, with the launch of several petitions, to push for a national referendum on the matter.
Accession to the Economic and Monetary Union seems automatic as soon the convergence criteria have been
met by a candidate country. The adoption of the euro is the logical goal of every EU Member State, except if
it enjoys dispensation like Denmark and the UK. The major crises that have affected five of the 17 countries
in the EMU are however causing for a certain amount of caution. In this regard Latvia might prove to be a case
study and now the effectiveness of the supervision mechanisms that the zone has created over the last
two years can be put to the test.
The six-pack, adopted in December 2011, notably includes an excessive imbalance procedure designed
to pinpoint a certain number of risks that weigh over a Member State's economy: competitiveness deficit,
speculative bubble, private debt etc. 10 indicators have been selected for this purpose. The Council can then address recommendations to the States involved and implement sanctions if these are not respected.
If the trends seen in Latvia regarding inflation and especially the share taken up by non-residents in the banking system become a reality then it would be time to implement these measures.
DECEMBER 2013 / EUROPEAN ISSUES N°298 / FONDATION ROBERT SCHUMAN
During most meetings for the introduction of the Euro in all new Eurozone countries meetings are translated by interpreters into the official languages of the EU.
Meetings can take place in the capital of the country as well as in one of the following cities of the UE: Amsterdam (Netherlands), Athens (Greece), Belgrade (Serbia), Berlin (Germany), Bratislava (Slovakia), Brussels (Belgium / Europe), Bucharest (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Copenhagen (Denmark), Dublin (Ireland), Helsinki (Finland), Valletta (Malta), Lisbon (Portugal), Ljubljana (Slovenia), London (UK), Luxembourg City (Luxembourg), Madrid (Spain), Nicosia (Cyprus), Paris (France), Podgorica (Montenegro), Prague (Czech Republic), Reykjavik (Iceland), Riga (Latvia), Rome (Italy), Skopje (FYROM - Macedonia), Sofia (Bulgaria), Stockholm (Sweden), Tallinn (Estonia), Warsaw (Poland), Vienna (Austria), Vilnius (Lithuania), Zagreb (Croatia).
I've interpreted in many of the above cities most of the time french and english into greek but also english into french and german into french.