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Dalia Grybauskaitė expects Lithuania's 2015 euro entry chances to be clear in autumn

Dalia Grybauskaitė Seime perskaitė metinį pranešimą
Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Dalia Grybauskaitė
Šaltinis: BNS

President Dalia Grybauskaitė says that it will become clear this fall, when the government puts together next year's state budget, how realistic are ambitions of Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius to join the euro zone in 2015.

"I am optimistic in the sense that it would be really beneficial for us to have the euro. This is because we are an open, integrated market economy. Also, we already have it de facto, being pegged to the euro at a fixed rate. We have all the responsibilities, but we practically don't have any monetary instruments to be able to use what the euro currency gives," Grybauskaitė said in an interview with BNS when asked if she shared Butkevičius' optimism about the country's chances to adopt the single currency in 2015.

The prime minister has said that Lithuania has a 95-percent chance of switching to the euro in 2015.

"But time will show if this (ruling) majority, this government, particularly the Social Democrats, will be able to resist populist proposals. And that time will come very soon.  The 2014 budget this fall will determine whether or not Lithuania will be able to introduce the euro," Grybauskaitė said.

The president, among other things, believes that it is too early to rejoice about the European Commission's recommendation to close an excessive deficit procedure against Lithuania.

"All the more so because the procedure was over 0.2 percentage points in excess, that is, over a 3.2 percent budget deficit. So we are hovering around the Maastricht limit, at 3 percent. Meanwhile Latvia's deficit is 1.5 percent and Estonia's deficit is even smaller," she told BNS.

"Indeed, we are still much more wasteful than our neighbors are. There's no room to relax. All the more so because we have debts, for example, pension cuts must be gradually compensated," the president said.

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