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Latvia’s New Year celebrations were shared with an official ceremony at midnight as the country became the 18th member of the eurozone.

Acting Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, who is credited with steering the country towards adopting the euro, withdrew the first Latvian euros from an cash dispensing machine in Riga.

Estonia’s premier Andrus Ansip, who was guest of honour, followed suit. His country joined the eurozone club in 2011.

Lithuania aims to do the same next year, completing the Baltic countries’ efforts to link up economically with the West.

While many Latvians are sceptical about the euro due to its recent tribulations, Latvia’s premier says it is an opportunity, not a guarantee of wealth.

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