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Barroso considers Latvia's economic achievements important for entire EU

Jose Manuel Barroso/AFP.
 RIGA, Nov 13 - Yesterday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso met with Latvian President Andris Berzins and emphasized the importance of Latvia's economic achievements for the entire European Union, LETA was informed by Berzins' press secretary Liga Krapane.
Barroso lauded Latvia's achievements in overcoming the crisis and pointed out that the country's growth is highly important for the entire bloc and can be considered a success story. He also urged Latvia to confirm its sustainability by the fulfillment of the Maastricht criteria and expressed support for Latvia's goal of joining the eurozone.
Berzins in turn stressed Latvia's resolve to implement all the necessary steps for the fulfillment of the Maastricht criteria to be sustainable in the future, informed about the country's progress toward meeting the criteria and confirmed that Latvia's indices for the third quarter of 2012 and forecasts for 2012 indicate that the country's growth currently exceeds the projections.
Berzins explained that the introduction of the euro will benefit both Latvia and the EU and added that the country has been implementing and will continue to pursue a fiscally responsible policy. Latvia's ratification of EU fiscal treaties and move to adopting the Law on Fiscal Discipline is a testament to the country's resolve, said the president.
Discussing the EU budget talks, Barroso admitted that they are not easy and predicted they would reach the decisive stage later this month.
Berzins also informed that, before visiting Brussels, he had harmonized Latvia's opinion on the bloc's budget with Lithuania and Estonia, especially regarding such matters as the Cohesion Policy and direct area payments. Berzins explained the positive impact of the EU funds on Latvia's main macroeconomic figures - gross domestic product and employment, especially during the post-crisis period. Barroso lauded Latvia's estimates and pointed out that they will serve as a serious argument for future talks. He also confirmed his support for a full-fledged continuation of the Cohesion Policy.

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