VILNIUS, December 13 (Itar-Tass) – Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has put off her country’s changeover to the euro and the abolition of the national monetary unit, the litas, for two years.
She believes that the adoption of the united European monetary unit might take place in 2016. On the face of it, the new left-off-center Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius said Tuesday that “the changeover will occur before 2015.”
The Lithuanians see their country as a future member of the euro area, Grybauskaite said Thursday in Brussels were she was taking part in a summit conference of the EU. Some of the things she said were aired by the national radio.
As for the previous plans to effectuate the transition in 2014, Grybauskaite believes the date is too premature, since that transition will be scarcely possible because of the high inflation level.
“Lithuania’s transition to the euro in the years 2015 or 2016 looks quite realistic,” she said.
Neighboring former Soviet Baltic republic of Latvia is expected to adopt the euro in 2014 and one post-Soviet Baltic state, Estonia, did so in 2011.
Prime Minister Butkevicius warns in his turn that Lithuania runs the risk of finding itself in the role of a third-rate state of some kind if it procrastinates with the changeover.