Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Year! Latvia Joins the Euro Currency Area on January 1, 2014

The European Central Bank (ECB) reports that Latvia joins the Euro currency as the 18th member of the Euro area on January 1, 2014.

The Latvian currency, the Lats (LVL), ceases to be legal tender on January 15, 2014.

The fixed exchange rate is € 1.00 = LVL 0.702804, which is equivalent to ca. 1 Lat to 1.42 Euros.

In Latvia

Latvian post offices will exchange the old money until March 31, 2014 while normal banks will exchange the old currency until June 30, 2014. In addition, the country's central bank, the Latvijas Banka, i.e. the Bank of Latvia, will exchange unlimited amounts of LVL currency (notes and coins) for an indefinite period into the future.

Outside of Latvia in the Euro Area

Outside of Latvia, Euro area national central banks (NCBs) will exchange Latvian banknotes in amounts limited to €1000 for any given party/transaction on any one day until February 28, 2014.

General Comment

Although the shift from the Latvian lat to the Euro area currency is not massively popular among the Latvian populace, the fact is that "Latvia has, for all practical purposes, been part of the euro zone since joining the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 2005." (WSJ)


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