Brussels, 10 January 2014
Latvians are spending their last lats
The euro changeover in Latvia is reaching its final stage. The lats will cease to be legal tender on 15 January 2014. On Wednesday 8 January, more than nine out of ten cash payments in shops were made in euro only (91 %) and all customers received their change in their new currency1, which shows that the Latvian retail sector is properly supplied with euro cash.
Banks, post offices and retailers are reported to be coping well with the changeover process and parallel handling of two currencies. Latvians are gradually getting used to their new currency and by 8 January, nearly 60 % of consumers had made a full transition to the euro in cash, i.e. they were only carrying euro banknotes and coins in their wallets2.
The adaptation of IT systems in the state administration (in total 106 IT systems) and municipal systems (more than 424 IT systems) was reported to have been smooth, including the IT systems for tax, budget and social payments.
The Consumer Rights Protection Centre continues to carry out daily inspections to monitor that businesses respect the changeover rules and that prices are properly converted at the official conversion rate of 0.702804 Latvian lats to one euro. Concerns voiced by citizens mainly concern issues such as the display of prices and the application of the rounding rules. All questions and complaints are being handled diligently by the competent authorities.
For more information on the Latvian changeover see:
Latvia's national changeover website:
For more information on the euro see:
Flash Eurobarometer 392. Questions asked on 8 January 2014.
Flash Eurobarometer 392.