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Lithuania's transition to euro currency smooth
Last Updated: 2015-01-04 11:24 |
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The Eurozone welcomes another member country. Lithuania has formally joined the euro bloc on January 1st. Let's see how people in the eastern European country are adjusting to the transition.

The European Union's official currency, the euro, formally went into circulation in Lithuania on new year's day. Citizens' bank deposits have been automatically denominated in the single currency. Overall, the transition has been smooth, as Lithuanians have made ample preparations beforehand. The government has put a 15 day window where people can use both currencies, and many restaurants across the country have started to show prices for both currencies on their menus.

"You can see on our menu that we show prices for both Litas and the euro. In the following two weeks we will accept payments in both currencies. But after then, we will only accept the euro," says Yuri, a restaurant owner.

But still, the transition has caused its inconveniences. According to official exchanges rates, 1 euro equals 3.4528 litas. This has led to complications in transactions.

"Although I can still use Litas when I buy things in shops, but they all give me the euro for change. I have to do math mentally everytime I pay," says a local resident named Andreas.

Experts say the currency transition will not cause fluctuations, because of the country's foreign exchange scheme.

"The Litas has been pegged to the euro since 2002. In this system, we can say that Lithuania has been a de facto member of the European Union," says Gitanas Nauseda, chief economist of SEB Bank.

Experts also say that because of the currency peg, the currency change will not cause inflation like many Lihuanian fears.

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