Euro Comes to Latvia!

Latvia adopted the euro at midnight on January 1, 2014, becoming the 18th eurozone member state.

Exchange rate: 1 euro = 0.702804 lats.

Lats will be exchanged to euro free of charge for an indefinite period of time at the Bank of Latvia in Riga and its branches in Liepaja and Daugavpils.

Currency exchange offices exchanging lats to euro will also have to provide the service for the first six months at the official exchange rate, without charging commission.Several public authorities (Consumer Rights Protection Centre, Financial and Capital Market Commission etc.) will supervise compliance with the law within their respective areas of responsibility.

The euro banknotes share the same designs across all countries in the euro area and the front or obverse of the coins is also common in all countries. Whereas the design of the back or reverse of the coin is chosen by each country individually. The reverse or the so-called “national side” of the euro coins issued in Latvia will feature national symbols. On the reverse of 1-and 2-euro coin – the portrait of a folk maiden (from the 5 lat coin of the pre-war Republic of Latvia), on the 10-, 20-, and 50-cent coin – the image of the great coat of arms of Latvia and on 1-, 2-, and 5-cent coins – the image of the small coat of arms of Latvia.

The design of the reverse of the Latvian euro coins was chosen at the national competition of ideas in 2004 where the jury chose as the best the proposal sent in by Ilze Kalnina (Ilze Kalniņa) from Jekabpils, Latvia. For Latvian euro coins the jury chose the images that symbolize Latvia and its core values in a focused way. The graphic design for 1- and 2-euro coins was developed by the artist Guntars Sietins (Guntars Sietiņš) and for euro cents – the artist Laimonis Senbergs (Laimonis Šēnbergs).

Latvian national currency has been pegged to the euro since 2005 at a fixed exchange rate: 1 euro = 0.702804 lats, which has also been retained during the transition from the national currency to euro.

For more about the introduction of euro in Latvia visit www.eiro.lv