News

2015.09.08 13:45

On the Home Stretch to Eurozone

Algirdas Acus2015.09.08 13:45

Lithuanian leaders have reacted with joy and further commitment after European Commission paved the way for Lithuania to become the 19th member of the Eurozone in 2015.  

 Lithuanian leaders have reacted with joy and further commitment after European Commission paved the way for Lithuania to become the 19th member of the Eurozone in 2015.

With the backing of the European Central Bank it declared that the last remaining Baltic country not in the Euro zone, had met all the criteria to change national Litas into Euro, on January 1.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius reacted to the decision with joy, saying that, given the Ukraine crisis, joining the Euro zone is even more important.

However, Chairman of the Bank of Lithuania noted that adopting Euro is just the beginning of the path, and stressed the importance of further fiscal discipline.

Lithuania attempted to adopt Euro in 2006-07, but failed by whisker to meet the Inflation criteria.

SHOTLIST

Minister of Finance Rimantas Sadzius arrives at Prime Minister's office

Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius meets Sadzius and Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Bank of Lithuania

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

DALIA GRYBAUSKAITE, President of Lithuania:
 

We will join the club of the strongest. We will be able to make decisions, because now we are behind the door. We will get more confidence, which means cheaper credit, more money left for pensioners and other needs. Finally, Lithuania, after quite a long time, deserves the right to join this club.

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

ALGIRDAS BUTKEVICIUS, Prime Minister of Lithuania:
 

I think Lithuania has made every effort in its pursuit to join the Eurozone and successfully passed this exam. It is obvious that our endeavour and consistency has been noticed and given credit. I am really proud about it.

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Soundbite (Lithuanian)

ALGIRDAS BUTKEVICIUS, Prime Minister of Lithuania:
 

With consideration of current situation at the Lithuanian borders, adopting Euro is even more important. Actually, it is another one step towards our economic, financial and political security.

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Soundbite (Lithuanian)

RIMANTAS SADZIUS, Lithuanian Minister of Finance:
 

Following its strong decision, Lithuania, despite of a low start, today was declared by the European Commission being competitive with other developed European nations that already have the one currency Euro.

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Soundbite (Lithuanian)

VITAS VASILIAUSKAS, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania:
 

I really think that it is not the end. It is the beginning of our path – joining the Eurozone means abiding the rules of a higher league, also responsibility and sustainability. It means professionalism and commitment of those who play in this league.

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Soundbite (Lithuanian)

ALGIRDAS SEMETA,  European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud:

Our financial institutions today are much more credible, compared to the period before crisis. A better control of banks and risk of new bubbles has been reasonably decreased. Eventually, the Eurozone itself has learned its lessons and strengthened control mechanisms, in order to meet convergence criteria's, not only before, but also after adopting Euro.

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Soundbite (Lithuanian)

ALGIRDAS SEMETA, European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud:
 

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