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EXME 14 / 10.01
10 / 01 / 14
President Barroso and Vice- President Rehn in Riga to welcome Latvia's euro entry
President Barroso is in Riga today with Vice-President Olli Rehn, where they will participate in a number of meetings and events to celebrate Latvia's entry to the euro area. Latvia became the 18th member of the euro area on 1 January, bringing to 333 million the number of people now using the single currency.
While there, President Barroso will have a joint meeting with Mr Dombrovskis and European Council president Herman Van Rompuy to discuss Latvia's entry to the euro area and the economic situation in the EU and Latvia. This will be followed by a joint press conference at 15:30 CET (16:30 Riga). Vice President Rehn will deliver a lecture at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. In the evening, they will both participate in a solemn ceremony to mark the introduction of the euro in Latvia. The press statement and speeches will be available online, and the press conference will be broadcast live on EbS.
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 currency, which shows that the Latvian retail sector is properly supplied with euro cash. 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.
The European Commission has authorised, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed merger of Publicis, an international advertising and communication group based in France, and Omnicom, a global advertising, marketing and corporate communication company headquartered in the US. The bidding nature of the markets, the presence of other large competitors, the relatively low barriers to entry, and the significant countervailing power of media vendors will ensure a level playing field in all the affected markets after the merger.
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