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Riga city mayor says Latvia should join euro zone

November 13, 2012, 19:01 UTC+3

Latvia has been implementing the EU budgetary requirements, he said

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MOSCOW, November 13 (Itar-Tass) —— The dates of Latvia joining the euro zone remain open yet, but that should be done sooner or later, Riga city Mayor Nil Ushakov said at a press conference at Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

Latvia has been implementing the EU budgetary requirements, he said. Latvia's accession to the euro zone is connected with technical possibilities, and that by no means will be cheap, Ushakov said. He reminded of price hikes in Estonia after it had put the euro in circulation. "We would not like the same to occur in Latvia," Ushakov added.

For the time being the dates when Latvia will join the euro zone remain open, Ushakov said. For the time being the population's support to this decision is minimal, under ten percent, but sooner or later Latvia should do that, Ushakov said. "In the event of a new crisis one wants to be over there, with Germany, which is safer," Ushakov added.

The political situation in Latvia gives no grounds to expect the majority in Latvia to support the amendments to the Bill on citizenship, Ushakov declared in a separate statement. "The political situation at the present moment does not let one think that the majority of the population will support amendments to the Bill on citizenship; therefore, one should set forth only feasible tasks," Ushakov said.

The procedure of granting citizenship might be simplified some time for people older than a definite age group, for instance, by abolishing exams, he said. This is what one might talk about and on which a compromise might be reached, the Riga mayor said.

Commenting on social welfare benefits for the veterans, Ushakov underlined that all the veterans regardless of citizenship should receive benefits. "The parliament has been studying this problem," Ushakov said.


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