OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALatvia has formally applied to be part of the euro in 2014, which would mean the 18th incorporation to the bloc. This long awaited move comes after the small Baltic state met the required financial criteria. Latvia is a victim of the recession due to the financial crisis and they have received an international bailout. PM Valdis Dombrovskis imposed large scale public spending cuts that have contributed to the recovery and as a result Latvia is now one of the fastest-growing economies in the EU. The European Commission and the ECB will take a decision on Latvia at the end of June. Latvia has confirmed that it has met the five requirements required to gain entry into the Eurozone, which relate to levels of debt, deficit, inflation, long-term interest rates and having a stable peg to the euro. The Lat, Latvia’s currency, has been pegged to the euro since 2005 and Mr. Dombrovskis stated that joining is the next natural step. Nevertheless, opinion polls in the country suggest that nearly two-thirds of the population are against joining the single currency.