RIGA, June 9 (RIA Novosti) – Latvia’s entry into the eurozone from next year may have far-reaching negative consequences for the ex-Soviet Baltic republic, Latvian Economists Association head Ivar Brivers said on Sunday.
Latvian President Andris Berzins signed into law a bill in February paving the way for Latvia to adopt the euro from January 1, 2014. The bill was earlier approved by Latvia's Sejm (parliament).
“Our ruling regime says it is ready to pay any price for joining the eurozone. It is even ready to put the survival of the Latvian people at stake. All the talks that the introduction of the euro will be good for Latvia are a lie,” he said in an interview with Baltkom radio station.
Brivers said Latvia was not ready to join the eurozone because most of the country’s population was against it.
“Money is based on trust. People in Latvia do not trust the euro. It is a great risk to decide on such issues without the people’s trust,” the economist said, adding the prices of goods and services in Latvia would rise after the republic joined the euro area.
Recent public opinion polls have showed that over 60 percent of Latvians disapproved of the euro's introduction, amid mounting problems in the eurozone.
Some Latvian public organizations have started to collect signatures for keeping the national currency, the lat, and against joining the eurozone.