1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Latvia seeks euro

March 4, 2013

The small Baltic nation of Latvia has requested to become the 18th nation to use the euro. However, with the debt crisis far from over, Latvians are afraid to trade their lats.


Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis has signed a formal request applying for eurozone membership, a spokesman for the government in Riga said on Monday.

The application would be handed over to EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn on Tuesday, the spokesman said. Latvia is seeking entry into the eurozone by January 1, 2014.

The move has been widely expected because the country's basic economic figures - including public debt levels, the budget deficit and the national inflation rate - are all better than required by the European Central Bank (ECB) for membership.

Latvia's cuts to get a bailout are hurting

Latvians, who only regained independence after Soviet occupation in 1990, are reluctant, however, to give up their national currency, introduced in 1993. Recent opinion polls showed that two-thirds of the population was against swapping their Lats and santims for the euro.

Latvia would become the second of four Baltic states in the eurozone, after Estonia joined in 2011. It is expected that the ECB will decide on the request in June.

uhe/mkg (AP, dpa)

Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section Related topics

Related topics

Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

Medical personnel in protective suits walk inside a fence in Guangzhou

China rolls back COVID restrictions amid rare protests

Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage