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Latvia Needed EU Funds to Avoid Bigger Crisis, Vilks Tells BNS

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Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Latvia’s economy, which shrunk by a quarter in 2008 and 2009, would have contracted by as much as 45 percent without European Union funds, said Finance Minister Andris Vilks, the Baltic News Service reported.

EU cohesion funds, which help finance transport investment for member states that have income of less than 90 percent of the EU average, were equal to about 8 percent to 9 percent of gross domestic product during the country’s crisis, Vilks said, BNS reported.

The crisis forced Latvia to seek a 7.5 billion-euro ($9.8 billion) loan from the EU and International Monetary Fund.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Eglitis in Riga at aeglitis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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