This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Latvia Gets Formal Go-ahead To Use Euro

By SARAH DiLORENZO and RAF CASERT

BRUSSELS (AP) â¿¿ The euro may stand for precarious economic rescues for some, but Latvia said Tuesday that it hoped joining the single currency would bring investment and development.

At a meeting in Brussels, European Union finance ministers officially agreed to make the Baltic state the 18th member of the eurozone currency union, at a time when many of its partners are struggling with low growth and high unemployment. Latvia will start using the new currency on Jan. 1, 2014.

"It's very symbolic," said Latvian Finance Minister, Andris Vilks. "We are completing our integration into core Europe."

U.S. ratings agency Fitch welcomed the decision, upgrading Latvia's long-term credit rating one notch from BBB to BBB+.

Once it has joined the eurozone, Latvia's economy would be the third-smallest of the group, larger only than those of Cyprus and Malta. With annual output of about 22.3 billion euros ($29 billion), it would account for just 0.2 percent of the overall eurozone economy.

Latvia's prime minister, Valdis Dombrovskis, added that the moment wasn't just about symbolism: He said the euro would reduce currency conversion costs for the tiny country, attract foreign investment and bring more development. He noted that 70 percent of Latvia's foreign trade is already done in euros.

European finance ministers and officials brushed aside concerns that it might be difficult to enlarge the eurozone while the region struggles to support cash-strapped members.

"Those countries that take care of their sustainable economic development by avoiding excessive macroeconomic imbalances or unsustainable public finances, they do succeed and benefit from euro membership," said Olli Rehn, the EU's economic and monetary affairs commissioner.

Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan called Latvia's adoption of the euro â¿¿ along with Croatia's recent joining of the EU â¿¿ "absolutely amazing when you pull back from the day-to-day workings of the crisis."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,156.85 +24.88 0.15%
S&P 500 2,001.57 +2.59 0.13%
NASDAQ 4,562.1890 +9.43 0.21%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs