|(From L to R) European Council President Herman van Rompuy, Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso attend a conference marking Latvia's entry to the eurozone, in Riga, Latvia, Jan. 10, 2014. (Xinhua/Guo Qun)
RIGA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso attended here on Friday a ceremony dedicated to Latvia's newly euro membership.
The ceremony took place at noon in the old town in the Small Guild (Chamber of Commerce). European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn also attended the event.
Van Rompuy and Barroso delivered speeches respectively and congratulated Latvia on joining the eurozone.
Barroso said "Latvia upon joining the eurozone will increase its influence and will be more attractive to investors."
He highly praised the determination and faith of Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, saying Latvia's entry into the eurozone is the hardest effort of Dombrovskis.
He put Latvia as an example for other European countries on how to overcome the current crisis.
Meanwhile, Van Rompuy said "The new currency will bring the political and economic benefits to Latvia, will lead Latvia to the core of Europe, will improve its ability to fight against external factors," stressing "together we are stronger."
Dombrovskis expressed his gratitude to all the people who helped him in the process of joining the eurozone.
Latvia formerly joined the eurozone on Jan. 1 and became its 18th member.
During the period Jan 1-14, both currencies, the national lats and the euro, are used at the same time. After this period lats will be withdrawn from circulation and the euro will be the only legal currency in the country.
EU says euro changeover successful in Latvia
BRUSSELS, Jan. 3 (xinhua) -- The European Union said on Friday the euro changeover with Latvia's previous currency lat is now running smoothly after the country adopted the euro on Jan. 1.
"No major problems have been encountered so far and banks and retailers were generally doing well with the first days of the changeover," the European Commission said in a statement. Full story