Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Eurozone to Add 18th Euro Land with EU Member State Latvia on January 1, 2014

The beleaguered Euro is given a lift as Latvia gets formal OK to join the euro, hopes it will bring growth despite economic problems. Latvia will formally join the Eurozone on January 1, 2014 thus making it the 18th member, as reported by the AP via the Washington Post.

Recall, with newly added Croatia, that the European Union now has 28 members, of which 10, after Latvia, will still retain their own currency. It is no surprise that economic and monetary union in the EU is taking a slow pace. Given European history, the surprise is that it is working at all.

We live in Germany and fly to Latvia regularly and are always puzzled by the apparent bias of some news reports about the Baltic and the European Union that can be read in the USA and elsewhere.

Rather than celebrating the tremendous changes and improvements that have been made in Russia and the former Soviet Union nations, there are many commentators who seem to prefer an Armageddon stance on Europe.

Contrary to reports and articles during recent years by persons who should know better, the Euro is not disintegrating and Europe is still alive and kicking.

There are of course problems, so what is new about that?
Life is a constant stream of problems -- and, ideally, solutions.

At the same time, there are new frontiers out there for Western democracy and capitalism, and almost all of those frontiers are in the East.

The countries there are developing their own versions of more liberal government and economic models than they had before, and these are, in spite of difficulties, far better than what existed not too long ago behind the Iron Curtain.

The CHANGE is remarkable. A functioning capitalist system and a political democracy are not forged in a day. A vibrant economy is dependent on the achievement of many long-term objectives that are essential economic factors.

People need to exercise reasonable patience in the amount of improvement that can by expected.

In any case, the conversion to the Euro should boost Latvia economically.

See also: Euro get 18th Member: tiny Latvia, at CNN Money.

We cite particularly to that article because it shows how subtle some of the Stateside bias against Europe can be. Latvia is not "tiny". Rather, it encompasses an area of 24,938 square miles, which would rank it 40th among American states and just above West Virginia with 24,230 square miles, but more than twice as large OR MORE in terms of area than each of the States of Maryland, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, or Rhode Island. Hence, Latvia is small in comparison to larger States of the USA or as judged by the size of nations, but it is by no means "tiny". Correctly, as far as Latvia is concerned, "small" is beautiful.

Hat tip to C.Z.