Lithuania's application to adopt the Euro is receiving widespread support in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. "It is a positive signal for the whole Eurozone", said Werner Langen MEP who is the European Parliament Rapporteur on Lithuania's application to adopt the Euro. "I welcome the extraordinary efforts Lithuania has made to fulfil the legal, economic and political requirements to adopt the Euro", said the EPP Group MEP.

"According to the winter forecast 2014, Lithuania fulfils all the convergence criteria of the Maastricht Treaty. So I am very optimistic, even if the final data will not be available before May", said Langen in the Committee debate with the Lithuanian Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Lithuanian Central Bank this morning. Langen applauded the complete independence of the Central Bank. "It all demonstrates the extraordinary determination of the Lithuanian Government to adopt the Euro as quickly as possible", said the European Parliament Rapporteur.

"One of Lithuania's problems is that the country largely depends on gas from Russia, not least because of the shutdown of the Ignalina nuclear power station forced by the EU. Nonetheless, the country has been working hard to diversify its energy strategy. The overall verdict is that Lithuania, after the first unsuccessful attempt in 2007, is now ready for the Euro. A large majority of the European Parliament is looking forward to welcoming Lithuania as the 19th Member State of the Eurozone in 2015 which would strengthen the Euro as a whole", concluded Langen.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 274 Members from 27 Member States.

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