Latvia's euro coins move abroad

The proportion of one euro coins in circulation that bear the face of the Latvian maiden nicknamed 'Milda' has shrunk to 74%, according to Citadele bank. 

"Due to foreign guest arrivals an exchange of Latvian euro coins and coins from other countries is taking place. From last summer, the proportion of Latvian euro coins has shrunk by 10%. In April of last year the face of Milda decorated 90% of the euro coins in circulation, on July last year the number was 84%, while this year's September the number has dropped to 74%," said a board member of Citadele Kaspars Cikmačs. 

According to data by Citadele, most foreign coins in Latvia are German ones, making up 8% of the total, while coins from neighboring Lithuania make up 5%, while Estonian coins account for 2%. Italian and Spanish coins make up 3%, French coins - 2%, while the coins from other euro members can be found only in tiny amounts.

"It's not surprising that German euro coins are the ones that make their way into our wallets most often, as, according to the Central Statistics Bureau, on the second quarter of this year the most foreign guests came from Germany - 14%," said Cikmačs.

To mine the data, Citadele counted a total of 3,000 coins in the largest cities of Latvia - Rīga, Daugavpils and Liepāja.

In December last year, representative of the Bank of Latvia Jānis Silakalns told Latvian Radio that the central bank will "definitely insure that these coins don't become a minority."

Latvia joined the Euro currency on January 1, 2014. 

Read more about the mysterious maiden on Latvia's one-euro and two-euro coins at the website of the Latvian Institute.

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