Lithuania Scuppered On Euro
Lithuania was struck by a lightening flash of bad luck last week when The European Commission and European Central Bank ruled that the Baltic country would not be joining Slovenia in the first wave of new countries to adopt the Euro next year.
Lithuania was all set to take up the Euro on January 1st 2007, ahead of the majority of the other members that joined the European Union in 2004.
However, the European Commission declared that Lithuania's inflation rate was 0.1 percent too high to meet the required criteria. 2.6 was the set rate, and as fortune would have it, Lithuania had slipped to 2.7 per cent on the month of the fateful judgment. As a result, Slovenia will be the only country to adopt the Euro in 2007.
Exasperated Lithuanian economists argue that generosity of spirit might have been more fitting at last week's judgement, given that Lithuania had been on target for so long. They argued that the strongest economies of the former eastern bloc should have been admitted together, as examples for aspiring members. However, the European Commission countered that they could not afford to 'bend the rules', however small the margin might be. The commission also maintained that Lithuania was destined for a further rise in inflation of the next few months.