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Accession to eurozone would be successful conclusion to international loan program

Andris Berzins/LETA.
 RIGA, Nov 13 - For Latvia, accession to the eurozone is not only an economically motivated step, but also a political decision, which would be a successful conclusion to the entire international loan program, President Andris Berzins pointed out during a meeting with European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn in Brussels yesterday.
The president emphasized that reducing the country's debt is among the most important tasks for Latvia and the adoption of the euro would have a direct impact on it, LETA was informed by the Presidential Press Service.
Berzins invited Rehn to visit Riga in February 2013 to participate in a conference on the introduction of the euro in Latvia.
Rehn and Berzins also exchanged opinions on Latvia's economic growth figures, the country's move toward the eurozone and the importance of closer cooperation among the Baltic States in their regional development and competitiveness.
Rehn congratulated Latvia on successful conclusion of its international loan program and the country's positive economic growth figures, commending Latvia for continuing implementation of fiscal and structural reforms. He said that Latvia's development is currently being thoroughly assessed, not only regarding the fulfillment of the Maastricht criteria, but also in regard to the observation of recommendations from the European Council.
Describing Latvia's achievements and further plans, Berzins emphasized that Latvia's gross domestic product exceeded the projected figure and amounted to 5.3 percent in the third quarter of 2012. The president predicted that the country's GDP will grow at least 4.5 percent this year.
The president also confirmed that Latvia's budget deficit is currently lower than previously expected and estimated that inflation will amount to 2.7 percent this year.
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