Estonia’s Ansip Congratulates Latvia on ‘Imminent’ Euro Entry

Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip congratulated his Latvian counterpart, Valdis Dombrovskis, on his country’s “imminent” adoption of the euro, a week and a half before the European Commission weighs in on Latvia’s bid.

“Latvia’s finances and economy are in good shape, and I’m very happy that the euro area will get another strong member,” Ansip said in a meeting today with Dombrovskis in the Estonian capital, Tallinn. His comments were distributed in an e-mailed government statement.

The Brussels-based commission will issue its “convergence report” on June 5, assessing whether Latvia fulfills the criteria for adopting the euro. If the commission backs Latvia’s bid, the formal decision would be made by European Union finance ministers on July 9 after consultation with the European Parliament and discussion by EU leaders.

“The procedure would be fully completed once the Council of Ministers, acting by unanimity of its euro area member states and Latvia, has irrevocably fixed the exchange rate of the lats to the euro,” the commission said.

Latvia would be the currency bloc’s 18th member and the fourth eastern European country to join. Estonia adopted the euro in 2011 and neighboring Lithuania aims to join in 2015.

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