Despite many economists considering the euro to be a failed currency experiment, Latvia is set to join the eurozone in 2014, even though a majority of Latvians are against the decision.
From January 1, 2014, the lat will be the latest currency to be replaced with the euro. En Rian reported Latvia's President Andris Berzins has signed a bill for the Baltic country to adopt the euro as its official currency. Latvia will be the eighteenth country to sign up to the euro.
Although a recent survey indicated 63 percent of Latvians were against joining the eurozone, the decision went ahead without a referendum. RT reported Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis justified the decision by saying “the alternative to the eurozone is being relegated to the periphery of Europe… joining the eurozone is in Latvia’s best long-term interests."
Latvia has already experienced its own economic crash in 2008 and imposed biting austerity measures, causing 10 percent of the population to emigrate. According to the New York Times the International Monetary Fund describes the Latvian economy as a model of the "healing properties of deep budget cuts."