Baltic euro pioneer welcomes Lithuania to the 'zone
Leaders from Estonia, the first Baltic state to switch to the EU's common currency, have welcomed the newest member to the fold.
Estonian PM Taavi Rõivas had traveled to Vilnius for the occasion. “Lithuania's transition to the euro is a positive one for Estonia, as well as the European Union and increases the trustworthiness of the Baltics on the whole,” he said.
Rõivas said Estonia's experience has shown that the euro attracts more foreign investors, leading to more jobs and greater wealth.
On January 1, Lithuania became the last Baltic nation to adopt the euro, after Latvia changed over a year ago and Estonia at the beginning of 2011. Lithuania became the union's 19th member to adopt the currency, with Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican and Andorra also use the euro. Kosovo and Montenegro use the currency unofficially.
According to the Bank of Estonia, there is still over 40 million euros worth of Estonian kroons yet to be exchanged for euros. Around 1.4 million euros was exchanged in 2013, 1.8 million the year before and 3.5 million in 2012, Õhtuleht reported.
Close to 7 million euros of that amount is in coins.