Latvian residents still have millions of lats

Around 84 million lats (the currency in Latvia before joining the eurozone in 2014) are still with Latvian residents, the regional television ReTV reported January 14.

Along with increases in prices and bills, some retirees acknowledge that they fear debts and are thinking of dipping into their lats reserves. 

 “I don't know what to do. If you can't pay, you can't pay, but I'll have debt if I can't pay. But if I can't pay, what can I do?” says Mrs Maiga, who has not yet thought about exchanging the lats.

Vilis from Kauguri still has lats, but not much. "If all comes crashing down, then yes. Not much, but there is," said Vilis.

Irina from Valmiera always has lats in her wallet. She is carrying the 2012 anniversary lats with a hedgehog on it. "I could buy more for this lats than for the euro. What can I buy for one euro? Only milk, but for one lats I can buy both milk and bread. There's a difference," Irina said.

The Bank of Latvia said that there have not been any changes in trends when it comes to the exchange of lats for euros.

“There are different things every day, but around 10 to 20 people come in, bringing anything between a few coins to several thousand lats," said the bank's spokesman Jānis Silakalns.

When the changeover took place in Latvia, 954 million lats or 1.3 billion euro were exchanged in 2013 and 2014. The amount exchanged for each of the following years fell. Until now, 40% or 29 million lats coins and 96% or 941 million lats notes have been exchanged.

The Bank of Latvia changes the lats according to the official exchange rate, or one lats can be received in return for EUR 1.42. The lats will always be able to be exchanged.

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Related articles
Most important

Please be aware that the LSM portal uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you agree that we may store and use cookies on your device. Find out more

Accept and continue