Latvia changes its currency

On January 1, Latvia adopted the euro as its currency replacing its previous currency called “Latvian lats”. The euro (sign: €) is a currency that has been adopted now by 18 European Union (EU) countries and a few non-EU countries.

The EU is a group of 28 European countries that cooperate and work together to improve things such as trade, employment, and the environment. Latvia became part of the EU in 2004.

A currency of a country is what you use to buy and sell things in that particular country. For example, the currency of the United States is the U.S. dollar and that of the United Kingdom is the Pound sterling.

The euro was first introduced in 1999 as a virtual currency used for accounting purposes. On January 1, 2002, the euro’s physical coins and banknotes were introduced. For a European country to use the euro as its currency, it must meet certain requirements on things such as the money it owes and the interest rates it offers. Latvia’s capital is Riga and its official language is Latvian. A traditional Latvian food is the speķapīrādziņi (a bacon pie).

Did you know?

Laimdota Straujuma has been selected to be the prime minister of Latvia. She will be the country’s first female prime minister.

Image Credits: europa.eu for euro’s sign’s image, http://www.arn.lv/ for speķapīrādziņi’s image
Sources: http://www.ecb.europa.eu, http://ec.europa.eu, http://www.euronews.com/