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229 words - July 9, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
Lithuania has taken over the Presidency of the European Union (EU) Council from Ireland on July 1. As the economic crisis and increasing unemployment still threatens the EU with ongoing depression – or a very weak if not absence of economic growth – the Lithuanian government said it "will focus on delivering results," and "concentrate its efforts on financial stability and growth."
"In spirit of cooperation and compromise we will concentrate our efforts on continuing to build sound, transparent and resilient financial markets and paving way for sustainable growth of Europe," said Lithuanian Finance Minister Rimantas Šadius. As a result, a neighboring country, Latvia, will become the 18th member of the Eurozone during the ECOFIN Council meeting in Brussels on July 9 (effective January 1, 2014). The top priorities in the area of economy and finance, the Lithuanian government explained, include the developing of the Banking Union, timely approval of European Union Budget for 2014, taking effective steps in the fight against tax evasion and fraud.
The first important event for Lithuania's EU Presidency was the launching of the first round of the EU-United States trade talks on July 8-12 in Washington D.C. "We are glad that the beginning of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU will be marked by an event that is very significant for global economy," said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius.
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