Latvia to become latest member of eurozone on January 1

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At midnight on December 31, Latvia will become the 18th member of the eurozone, the second former Soviet state to join after Estonia. The remaining Baltic EU member, Lithuania, is hoping to follow in 2015.

The Latvian Central Bank has been providing euro cash to commercial banks since November. Retailers have been stocking up on new notes and coins over the last month.

Shoppers have had price tags in lats and euros to get used to their new currency, but there was little interest in euro starter kits that appeared on sale in Latvia before Christmas.

In comparison, people in Estonia waited in long queues to buy starter kits two years ago.

Despite this, popularity for the euro amongst Latvians has been growing.

Latvia is the fastest growing economy in the European Union.

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