“On New Year’s Day, Lithuania woke up as a full member of the euro area. This is a memorable event for both Lithuania and the euro zone. For the people of Lithuania it means saying goodbye to the litas and hello to the euro. And for me it means giving a warm welcome to the three million Lithuanians whose hard work and determination have made this major step possible,” he said in his message of congratulations.
According to the Eurogroup’s head, the ongoing enlargement of the euro area reflects the attractiveness of the euro, even in difficult times. The euro offers considerable advantages to both companies and citizens, because it assists trade and investment, he said. It also irrevocably eliminates exchange rate uncertainty and transaction costs, facilitates travel in the euro area and simplifies price comparison.
“Crucially, joining the euro area will enable Lithuania to have a fair say in decisions on issues that have already been influencing its economy. It is about to experience the much improved governance structure of the euro area. This new structure provides many opportunities to learn from one another’s experiences, and I dare say Lithuania will have a lot to offer in this respect. In recent years Lithuania has achieved impressive results, showing remarkable resilience in the way it has bounced back from the financial crisis. With sound public finances and an impressive record on reform, our latest member of the euro area serves as an inspiration for many others,” he noted.