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Lithuania can’t join euro zone in 2014 - president

January 02, 2012, 21:34 UTC+3

Some analysts say that it is more realistic to expect the euro in 2016 or 2017

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LONDON, January 2 (Itar-Tass) —— Lithuanian President Dalia Grybausikte said her country would most likely be unable to join the euro zone in 2014.

Her statement threw in doubt a tentative schedule according to which Lithuania planned to join the euro zone in 2014.

She said this schedule was “unrealistic”.

“Given the difficulties facing the euro zone, it will take 2-3 years to solve all existing problems,” the president said on Monday, January 2, in an interview with the magazine Veidas, a weekly news magazine published in Lithuania that focuses on the world news, politics and business.

She said Lithuania would join try to join the euro zone during this period.

“The 2014 is unrealistic. In a sense, we already have the euro now that the litas is pegged to it. But what is more important is that all countries, and Lithuania as well act responsibly,” Grybauskaite said.

The Lithuanian government earlier set the goal of adopting the European Union's single currency in 2014, but last month the prime minister and the minister of finance refused to speculate on the specific year of euro adoption.

Committed to adopt the euro, Lithuania joined the European Union. But in order to adopt the single currency, the country must meet the Maastricht criteria, including the budget deficit and inflation among them. Some analysts say that it is more realistic to expect the euro in 2016 or 2017.

Given the debt crisis in the euro area, Grybauskaite said she would not like to speculate on whether the euro would stay around.

“Will the euro survive? I do not want to speculate on this issue. Responsible fiscal discipline in all countries is more important than the name of the currency,” the president said.


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