1st of January - Eurozone joined Latvia!
  • Will the introduction of the euro constitute a currency reform?

This is not a currency reform. At the Bank of Latvia, the Latvian lats will be exchanged at the current rate without any commission in perpetuity and in unlimited amounts. It will amount to replacing of one currency with another.

Historically, reforms have been instituted in Latvia whereby people lost a good part of their savings: during the war and Money reform in 1961 and as a result of the Soviet monetary reform of 1991, commonly referred to as the “Pavlov Reform”. This time all the lats that people have at home or in the bank, will be exchanged and no lats piece belonging to the citizens or companies will be lost at the currency change time! At the Bank of Latvia, the Latvian lats will be exchanged in perpetuity and in unlimited amounts.

  • Doesn’t the changeover to the euro amount to a loss of  identity?

No such causality  if there ismore of Europe, then less of  Latvia. It would be like saying: the more there is of Latvia, then the less of - Vidzeme or Latgale. By wisely participating in the euro area, Latvia will become a prosperous place for ourselves and for others as well.

Did Germans become less German and Estonians less Estonian? Was it easier for other countries to abandon their stable, beautiful, long used currencies? Latvia`s euro will be graced by the proud symbol of our money design,Milda- the Latvian maiden, which was featured on the 5 lats coin prior to the Second World War. If we enjoy the fact that the world knows Latvian opera singers, why not likewise enjoy the fact that millions of Europeans will be using the most beautiful money in Europe coming from Latvia?

Money is first and foremost an an economic instrument and currently it is more convenient and safer to operate a large region like Europe with a single currency. The United States would never have one of the most successful and influential economies, if it had 50 different currencies.

  • Will we lose our influence and independence with the euro?

We will not lose our independence! After the introduction of the euro, the impact of Latvia will rise in the EU and Latvia will be able to better defend its interests.

For strengthening the national sovereignty, it is the economic structure and debt levels that play the most important role and not the currency. Countries with a healthy economy and the euro have more sovereignty than the countries that have their own currency but, because of economic problems, they have problems financing the country debt.

For two years now,Estonians have had the euro instead of the krona. Have Estonians lost their independence and self-confidence? Estonia and Estonians are still there, and two years after the introduction of the euro, public support for the euro has exceeded 70%. The euro has helped the Estonian economy and strengthened our neighbouring country's influence in the European Union.

  • If the coins with Latvian symbols are taken out of the country, will we not soon lose our own euro coins and will we not be forced to use those of other countries? Are coins sorted and then sent back to the countries of their origin?

All euro coins are valid in all euro area countries. In Latvian transactions, there will indeed appear also coins minted by other countries while the Latvian euro coins will circulate in other European Union countries, telling them something about Latvia.

People usually export a small amount of coins to other countries because of the their weight. Therefore it is the locally issued coins that are mostly circulating in any particular country. No special coin sorting and return is being practiced. As coins wear out over time, they are replaced by new ones.

Guidance for more information: http://www.new-euro-banknotes.eu/ and http://www.ecb.europa.eu/euro/html/index.en.html