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53% believe that Latvia will adopt the euro in January 2014

Photo: Edijs Palens/LETA.
 RIGA, Dec 3 - 53 percent of residents believe that the euro implementation project will proceed as per the government's plans and the euro will be adopted in Latvia in January of 2014, according to the latest "DNB Latvia Barometer" survey.

13 percent are certain that the euro will be introduced in Latvia in January 2014, while 40 percent believe that this will more likely happen than not.

One-third or 34 percent believe that Latvia will not adopt the euro in January 2014, including 11 percent who are certain that this will not happen. 13 percent had no opinion.

Also, 59 percent of respondents said they knew that Latvia was planning to introduce the euro in 2014.

Nevertheless, society is still rather skeptical about the single currency - only 8 percent said it would be best for Latvia to adopt the euro as soon as possible.

42 percent approve of eurozone membership in general, but they also believe that Latvia should not hurry it. 41 percent say that Latvia should not adopt the euro at all.

There are various reasons for Latvian residents' skeptical attitude to joining the euro area, comments Economists' Union 2010 representative Edmunds Krastins. The recession and the crisis in the euro area, and the way they are portrayed in the media, is one of them. The other reason is the government's straightforwardness that, in a way, causes an opposite reaction from society - "if officials want something, we (the people) will oppose it," notes Krastins.

European Parliament member Roberts Zile adds that, in fact, two-thirds of residents' deposits in banks are in the euro currency, as is 90 percent of loans borrowed by the people in Latvia. "It may therefore be said that the choice has already been made, whether it was an informed choice or not," says Zile.

The public opinion survey also reveals that 41 percent of residents believe it is politicians who stand to gain the most from the introduction of the euro, whereas 39 percent said it will be the rich. 28 percent believe that introducing the euro is in businessmen's interest, 27 percent - in European Union officials' interest, and only 6 percent say that the euro is in everyone's interest.

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