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BRUSSELS, June 16 Lithuania, set to become the 19th country to adopt the euro currency from the start of 2015, will probably get the final go-ahead from the European Union for the switch on July 23, a senior euro zone official said on Monday.
The European Commission recommended on June 4 that the Baltic republic join the single currency because it met all the criteria - a stable exchange rate, low inflation and interest rates and public debt and deficit within EU limits.
The Commission recommendation will now go to EU finance ministers on June 20 for endorsement. European Union leaders will also have their say at their June 26-27 summit and the European Parliament will be consulted in July.
None of these institutions are likely to block Lithuania's membership given its fulfilment of the key entry criteria.
The Commission will also propose on July 1 an exchange rate at which the Lithuanian currency will be irrevocably converted into the euro. The rate recommendation will be discussed on the same day by junior EU ministers preparing ministerial meetings.
The final legal step of the process will be for the EU ministers to give the final go-ahead to Vilnius on July 23. (Reporting by Jan Strupczewski and Martin Santa, editing by Mark Heinrich)