Lithuania’s preparations for the adoption of the euro next year seem overall well on track, the European Commission (EC) has said, calling on Lithuania’s authorities to address the remaining concerns related to euro introduction and to increase consumers’ confidence so as to ensure smooth euro changeover.
The Commission on November 21 published a report evaluating Lithuania’s practical preparations for the adoption of the euro next year and the country’s progress made by the end of September.
According to the report, frontloading of euro coins to commercial banks was launched early in October and frontloading of euro banknotes – early in November. Sub-frontloading of banknotes and coins to commercial banks’ major clients will commence on December 1.
From December, three cash offices of the central Bank of Lithuania, 343 bank branches and at least 330 post offices will start selling 900,000 euro coin starter kits for the general public. Each kit, worth 11.59 euros, will contain a mix of all Lithuanian euro coins denominations.
According to the report, a Memorandum on Good Business Practice upon the Introduction of the Europe was signed in August and its signatories committed, among other things, not to use the adoption of the euro as a pretext for increasing prices of goods and services.
“This is a very important initiative and efforts to increase its coverage and impact, notably through the ‘Fair price conversion’ campaign, should be stepped up in the remaining weeks before the changeover,” the Commission said.
All ATMs will start dispensing euro banknotes from Jan. 1. Bank branches (343) will provide unlimited cash exchange services free of charge until Jun. 30. In post offices, free exchange services will be provided by March 1. From July, 89 bank branches will continue to provide unlimited and free of charge exchange services for six more months.
The Bank of Lithuania will change unlimited amounts of litas cash into euro for an unlimited period of time and free of charge.