(MENAFN - QNA) Lithuania formally joins the eurozone on Thursday as the 19th member of the single currency bloc.
"This is a symbolic moment not only for Lithuania, but also for the euro area itself, which remains stable, attractive and open to new members," one of the European Union's top economy officials, Latvian EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, said in a statement quoted by German press agency (dpa).
Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius withdrew the first banknotes of the euro right after the New Year bell. The circulation of euro underlines Lithuania's further integration with the European Union (EU) after it joined the bloc in 2004.
The Baltic country's application to join the eurozone was backed and approved in the middle of 2014 by the EU.
Lithuania's Baltic neighbors Estonia and Latvia joined the single currency bloc in 2011 and 2014 respectively.