Valdis Dombrovskis

Latvia joins Eurozone with New Year's fanfare but little joy

Latvia joins Eurozone with New Year's fanfare but little joy

Latvia became the 18th country to make the European Union's euro its currency when fireworks exploded over Riga and church bells tolled in the new year.

Latvia has posted the 28-nation EU's most impressive economic growth rates for the last two years, after self-imposed austerity measures of a severity that helped the tiny Baltic state recover from recession faster than most of the bloc's more established members.

European leaders praised Latvia's vibrant economic performance, hailing its entrance into the Eurozone as evidence of the common currency's enduring appeal despite a rash of bailouts and banking crises in recent years.

"This is a major event, not only...

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