In an interview published in Lietuvos Zinios daily on Wednesday, the prime minister said that that Lithuania already “has the euro de facto”, as the national currency, the litas, is pegged to the European Union's (EU) currency.
„I think major publicity work will be done. We already have the euro de facto, I don't understand why there should be opposition,“ the daily cited Butkevicius as saying.
„I will give you a few simple arguments about how the euro will benefit us. Currently, euro-denominated loans make 70 percent of all granted loans. Secondly, we lose about 100-120 million litas (EUR 28.9-34.8 mln) every year while exchanging the litas to the euro. Thirdly, adoption of the euro will enable the state and the people to borrow at a lower interest,“ the prime minister said.
„We have a currency management model where the Bank of Lithuania has no power and cannot influence macroeconomic processes. It is my proposal that the people should understand that we should adopt the euro as soon as possible,“ he added.
Lithuania's government aims to enter the eurozone in 2015.