Eurogroup announces Lithuania’s hopes to join euro, warns Greece to speed up bailout talks

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Lithuania hopes to join the euro in 2015, emulating its Baltic neighbours Latvia and Estonia.

The announcement came after a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels on Monday, where the Eurgroup’s head Jeroen (Yurun) Dijsselbloem said that Vilnius was ‘very determined’ to join the currency bloc.

It is the country’s second attempt to join, after an earlier failed bid when it missed a target for inflation.

“The Lithuanian authorities have also expressed their intentions to adopt the euro on the 1st of January 2015. The Commission and the ECB will publish their regular convergence report that will come out in June and after that decision making in the Eurogroup and Ecofin can take place.” Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Monday.

Euro zone finance ministers and the ECB will decide wether to admit Lithuania after the European Commission publishes a report on the country’s economic situation in June. If admitted, Lithuania would be the 19th member of the euro zone.

Meanwhile, Dijsselbloem also urged Greece and its international lenders to make progress on their bailout negotiations, after he complained that discussions ‘were taking too long’.

“I’m sorry to say that the review is not yet concluded and further work is needed in Greece before the Troika can return to Athens. We call on Greece and the Troika to do their utmost to conclude the negotiations as soon as possible.” Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Monday.­

Dijsselbloem warned that the Euorgroup will not approve paying out any more financial aid to Athens before there is a final agreement with the troika.

 

 

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