Latvia is set to adopt the Euro, thus becoming the 18th country to do so. The switch from its existing currency the lat to Euros will start from January 1st of next year. Latvia joined the NATO and EU in 2004 having earlier obtained its independence in 1991 from the Soviet Union. The country will become the fourth smallest to adopt the Euro only next to Cyprus, Estonia and Malta. Latvia has a gross domestic product or GDP of 22 billion Euros or $28 billion or just 0.2% of eurozone output. The country has a population of two million with 30% being of Russian origin. The Latvian government is hoping the introduction of Euro will up economic growth by bringing in more foreign investment.
Latvia’s joining is a vote of confidence for the Euro currency union which just a year earlier was on the brink of a break-up owing to the credit crisis.