France supports Latvia joining eurozone next year

President Francois Hollande said Friday that France supports Latvia adopting the euro in January to become the currency bloc's 18th member.

"If the reports confirm Latvia's capacity to join the eurozone, and I don't doubt they will, I support the 2014 date," Hollande said in a joint appearance with Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis.

Latvia submitted last month its formal request to join the eurozone on January 1, 2014, and the European Commission and European Central Bank are expected within weeks to render their verdicts whether the Baltic state is ready.

Hollande said Latvia's choice to join the eurozone despite the difficulties the single currency has faced was a "signal of confidence, hope".

Dombrovskis said if the reports of the Commission and ECB are positive that the support of eurozone member states would be very important.

If all goes to plan, Latvia will replace its currency, the lat, with the euro on January 1, 2014, exactly three years after neighbouring Estonia became the most recent member of the eurozone.