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Tuesday 22.08.2017 | Name days: Rudīte, Everts
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Ushakov shouldn't worry about another euro referendum

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAs soon as one voting is over, politicians are already expecting the next one. Nils Ushakov, the winning party Harmony Center’s prime minister candidate, thinks that a referendum should be set up for people to have a say in whether to join the eurozone or not.

He believes that a referendum would be the right step, since the issue is tied not only to the monetary policy, but also the very symbol of the state.

The statement contradicts Valdis Dombrovskis standpoint to introduce the euro in 2014. He has stressed repeatedly that adopting the single European currency is an important step ahead in stable growth, so it is included in the programme of the prime minister’s faction.

Following Unity and Harmony Center’s talks on possible coalition, Dombrovskis pointed out that they barely differed on any economic issues. Neither going on with the economic stabilization programme, nor the euro in 2014 were an apple of discord.

Unity faction told the news portal BNN that practically the euro referendum took place already back in September 2003, when people voted for joining the European Union. “Back then one of the European Community contractual points stated that the state overtakes to join also the eurozone, not only the EU. This is what we are going to explain also to Harmony Center. There has already been a referendum and there is a no need to organize another one,” says Laila Timrota, Unity’s representative.

Ilmars Rimsevics, Bank of Latvia President, has firmly formulated his standpint. According to him, joining the euro area must not be postponed and the sooner the single currency is introduced, the better.

He told the newspaper Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze that many people object to the euro simply because they do not know that all of the small countries have already adopted it and survived the crisis quite smoothly.

“All of these small countries have embarked on the huge ship and they are happy about it. Euro introduction guarantees much smaller debt servicing costs. If we do not adopt the euro, Latvia will overpay about a billion lats in ten years time. People are not aware of that. These advantages of the single currency should be highlighted every single day. The euro means new jobs, additional budget revenue, funds to boost the social sector, education and health care,” he says.

However, it should be singled out that Greek debt crisis and the ongoing turmoils can influence the society’s attitude as well.

“Juicy” statements of various Greek public officials contribute to the growing speculations. Evangelos Venizelos, Greek Finance Minister, announced on September 18 that all of the EU member states should take the responsibility for the crisis. According to him European and international bodies have been using Greece as the scapegoat for their own “lack of competence in managing the crisis.”

However, Greece dismisses any talks on the country being set to quit the euro area.

According to anonymous sources, George Papandreou, Greek Prime Minister, told on September 20 that a referendum on staying in the eurozne is possible. The govenrment representative Angelos Tolkas later denied this to the news agency Reuters.


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