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Opposition parties' decision on euro referendum to come after euro bill is passed

Janis Urbanovics. Photo: Ieva Čika/LETA.
 RIGA, Dec 14 - Saeima's opposition parties - Greens/Farmers and Harmony Center - foresee the decision on whether to hold a referendum or not on the government's plan to switch to euro January 1, 2014, only after the euro adoption bill is passed by parliament in its final reading.

Uldis Augulis, chairman of the Greens/Farmers board, underlined that possible changes in the bill are possible, and that there would be no decision on pushing the referendum matter forward until the bill is passed. He declined to make any predictions on what the decision may be, only that his party will decide on proposals for altering the bill before its second reading.

Janis Urbanovics, Harmony Center's leader in parliament, commented that "there is nothing to decide right now", first his party wants to see "what the new law will look like." Urbanovics emphasized that it is the government's duty to explain to the people what all the pluses and minuses of euro are and what joining the zone will cost Latvia from "day 1 and all together." For example, it should be made clear how much Latvia will have to pay in the euro zone solidarity fund - an aspect the government mentions only in passing, he pointed out.

If the government comes through with this, quite possibly there will be no motions for a referendum, he added.

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