LONDON (TIP): The European Commission in its 2014 Convergence Report has proposed to the EU council of ministers that Lithuania can become the latest country to adopt the euro as its currency on January 1, 2015. It also struck down the possibility for seven of its member states – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden – to adopt the currency. The Commission said none of them currently fulfill all of the criteria to adopt the Euro. Their situation will therefore be reassessed in two years’ time.
It said, “These countries have made uneven progress on the road to euro adoption, but Lithuania stands out from this group as it now fulfils the convergence criteria.” The Council will take the final decision on the matter in the second half of July after EU heads of state and government discuss the subject at the 26-27 June European Council meeting and after the European Parliament has given its opinion. Olli Rehn, commission vice-president, said, “Lithuania’s readiness to adopt the Euro reflects its longstanding support for prudent fiscal policies and economic reforms.
That reform momentum, driven in part by Lithuania’s EU accession 10 years ago, has led to a striking increase in Lithuanians’ prosperity: the country’s per capita GDP has risen from just 35% in 1995 to a projected 78% in 2015.”