Tuesday

24th May 2016

Lithuania expresses 'will' to join euro in 2015

Lithuania is determined to become the 19th member of the eurozone in 2015, the country's finance minister confirmed on Tuesday (28 January.

"We have expressed our will to be in the eurozone," finance minister Rimantas Sadzius told reporters before the start of a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The meeting was the first under the Greek government's six month EU presidency.

"I think that it is symbolic that Greece, which encounters certain problems in its development, is challenged with a successful EU presidency and Lithuania shows also the sign that the eurozone has a perspective..that this is a very good project and we subscribe to it," Sadzius added.

The Baltic country became the first and only country to be rejected for euro membership in 2006 after missing the target inflation rate and has since seen its neighbours Estonia and Latvia join the currency bloc in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

But the Baltic country also views membership of the currency bloc as a politically symbolic move just two decades after achieving independence from Russia.

Earlier this month, prime minister Algirdas Butkevicius stated that he would resign if his country did not join the single currency at the start of 2015.

For his part, economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn said "Lithuania aims at following the path of its neighbours during the Greek presidency."

Eurogroup chair Jeroen Dijsselbloem commented that Lithuania was "very determined" to join the euro in 2015.

The country's finances are in good enough shape to suggest that it will encounter few problems in its accession bid.

The Lithuanian economy grew by 3.4 percent in 2013 and is expected to reach a similar rate this year.

Closer attention will likely be paid to the country's budget deficit, which is expected to fall to 2.5 percent in 2014 from 3 percent in 2013, the highest figure allowed under the EU's stability and growth pact.

Its government debt burden stands at 40 percent, well below the 60 percent threshold.

Meanwhile, the country's banking sector is small by EU standards and, unlike neighbouring Latvia, has not been a target for foreign savers, particularly from Russia and Ukraine.

The final decision on Lithuania's euro bid will be taken by governments in July.

Reports by the European Central Bank and Commission assessing the country's economic readiness to join are to be published at the beginning of June.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesNew rules for posted workers - Better Protection or the End of Posting ?
  2. Innovators Under 35Meet MIT Technology Review's Innovators Under 35 Award Recipients from Belgium on 25 May, 6pm
  3. Open EuropeJoin the Brussels Brexit Debate on Wednesday, 25 May at 5:00 PM
  4. World VisionWhy The EU Needs to Put Children at the Centre of Emergencies - In Their Words
  5. ACCASustainability Reporting in Danger of Losing Its Momentum Says ACCA and CDSB
  6. CEDEC - Covenant of MayorsWebinar on 25 May - Electric Vehicles Development: The Role of Local Entities
  7. Dialogue PlatformDiversity as Heritage of Humanity! Join the “Colors of the World“ Show at the EP
  8. Centre Maurits CoppietersNew Responses to the Basque Peace Process? MEP Juaristi on Stateless Challenges Conference
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceImproving Cardiovascular Health Begins by Closing the Gap in Sex Disparities
  10. IPHRBrussels Talks to Take Stock of Human Rights in Turkmenistan
  11. World VisionCash-based Programming to Address Hunger in South Sudan:
  12. Belgrade Security ForumOpen Call for Applications! Join the Events Team at the 6th Belgrade Security Forum.

Latest News

  1. Terrorists likely stockpiling explosives in EU, says Europol
  2. EU navies to help Libya coastguard stop migrants
  3. Merkel casts doubt on Turkey visa-free travel
  4. EU and Poland in last minute talks on rule of law
  5. Tough challenges ahead for Austria's president
  6. Search for VW compensation larger in EU than in US
  7. EU 'relief' at far-right defeat in Austria
  8. EU defends Turkey deal in light of Greek court ruling