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Wednesday 23.08.2017 | Name days: Valgudis, Ralfs, Vitālijs

38% of Latvian residents support Euro adoption

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Аuthor: SXCAccording to Factum research agency’s survey on Latvian residents’ support of the initiative to adopt Euro, the proportion of residents who support this was only 38% this May.

“It should be said that support for Euro grew gradually in other countries over the years. Before adopting the new currency, it was not generally high. The largest increase of support for the new currency was usually noted after the transition”, – Factum manager Aldis Paulins says.

Euro adoption is currently an important topic for 50% of residents. One of the most important aspects of this initiative to which residents want to hear an answer to is the impact of this currency transition on their salaries and pensions (83%).

“The euro transition will not have an impact on salaries and pensions. That which we receive in Lats will be transferred in euro after January 1 at a specific exchange rate. For example, instead of the current 100 LVL, you will receive 142.29 EUR after January 1. That’s that”, – Finance Ministry’s Euro project manager Dace Kalsone says.

The second most popular question (82%) is the exchange rate.

“These concerns of the confiscating monetary reforms have their roots embedded in the experience received during the Soviet era”, – says Juris Kravalis, manager of the communications department of the Bank of Latvia. “The exchange rate of LVL to EUR is 0.702804. It will not be changed.”

Finally, the third most troublesome matter (74%) is the exact data a and time of transition to euro.

“The money residents keep on their bank accounts will be exchanged for euro automatically. Cash money will be allowed to be exchanged for euro at Latvian Post branches and the Bank of Latvia for an indefinite period of time”, – Kalsone said.

Prices will be recalculated in accordance with a strict mathematical principle.

74% of respondents worry about a possible price increase along with euro adoption. This concern is especially popular among the older generation of Latvian residents: 56-65 and 66+.

“This is one of the very first questions I was asked by residents all across Latvia. I usually ask in return – did prices increase in the past, and will they increase in the future as well?“ – Kalsone says.

There is no reason to put off euro adoption

Another often expressed opinion that Latvia should postpone euro adoption. 38% want to have the matter of euro adoption to be put off for the longest possible period of time.

“Latvia’s preparation to join Eurozone can be compared with an athlete’s training for an important tournament. Latvia applied for this tournament in 2008. Our general physical condition and preparedness were not too high. We received a decline from European authorities. For the past several years, we have been working on our shape, and have achieved notable results. We have achieved all of the Maastricht criteria. This is an achievement of all of Latvia’s residents. We are in great physical shape, so we should start this year”, – said Janis Platais, advisor to the Finance Minister.

Young and education people form the bulk of Euro supporters in Latvia

Like before, young people of the age of 15 to 25 support euro adoption more than other. The same goes for better educated people and those with higher income.

Those looking forward to the new currency explain their excitement with the available information about this initiative: no real need to worry about currency exchange, currency exchange costs, stability and new opportunities (coming close to the level of other EU states). They say Latvia will gain in economic stability. Euro is a well-recognized currency. There us also the fact that Euro adoption is unavoidable.


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