Asked during an interview to Žinių Radijas radio station on Thursday whether Lithuania had already decided to apply for euro zone membership, Algirdas Butkevičius replied: “Yes.”
The prime minister does not think that the country’s plans to adopt the single currency could fall through.
“This cannot happen, Lithuania meets all Maastricht criteria today. We have already had two months of deflation. And our budgeting for next year is based on financial discipline,” he said.
The opinion of the European Union’s (EU) executive will need approval by the Community’s Member States. Lithuania would be the last of the three Baltic countries to replace its currency with the single European currency.
Vilnius seeks to adopt the euro in 2015 and join the monetary union which currently includes 17 out of 28 EU Member States.
To join the euro zone, a Member State must comply with the Maastricht criteria of budget deficit, inflation and debt.
Lithuania’s bid to join the euro in 2007 was rejected because its inflation exceeded the Maastricht limit.