Latvia to join eurozone

Riga, Dec 31: Latvia is to become the 18th country to join the single currency union Tuesday midnight, The Guardian reported.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso congratulated Latvia as the country prepared to wave goodbye to its currency, the lat.

“This is a major event, not only for Latvia, but for the euro area itself, which remains stable, attractive and open to new members,” Barroso said Tuesday. The eurozone is marking its 15th anniversary.

Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis will ceremonially withdraw the first euro note from an ATM shortly after midnight.

“Latvia will enter the euro area stronger than ever, sending an encouraging message to other countries undergoing a difficult economic adjustment,” Barroso said.

Introduced in 1999, the eurozone consists of those European Union (EU) countries which have adopted the euro as their currency.

IANS