Copper is a chemical element with symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a soft and ductile metal with high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. Copper is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, as a building material, as a constituent of various metal alloys, such as sterling silver used in jewelry, cupronickel used to make marine hardware and coins, constantan used in strain gauges and thermocouples for temperature measurement. Copper is one of the few metals; this led to early human use in several regions, from c. 8000 BC. Thousands of years it was the first metal to be smelted from sulfide ores, c. 5000 BC, the first metal to be cast into a shape in a mold, c. 4000 BC and the first metal to be purposefully alloyed with another metal, tin, to create bronze, c. 3500 BC. In the Roman era, copper was principally mined on Cyprus, the origin of the name of the metal, from aes сyprium corrupted to сuprum, from which the words derived and copper, first used around 1530.
The encountered compounds are copper salts, which impart blue or green colors to such minerals as azurite and turquoise, have been used and as pigments. Copper used in buildings for roofing, oxidizes to form a green verdigris. Copper is sometimes used in decorative art, both in its elemental metal form and in compounds as pigments. Copper compounds are used as bacteriostatic agents and wood preservatives. Copper is essential to all living organisms as a trace dietary mineral because it is a key constituent of the respiratory enzyme complex cytochrome c oxidase. In molluscs and crustaceans, copper is a constituent of the blood pigment hemocyanin, replaced by the iron-complexed hemoglobin in fish and other vertebrates. In humans, copper is found in the liver and bone; the adult body contains between 2.1 mg of copper per kilogram of body weight. Copper and gold are in group 11 of the periodic table; the filled d-shells in these elements contribute little to interatomic interactions, which are dominated by the s-electrons through metallic bonds.
Unlike metals with incomplete d-shells, metallic bonds in copper are lacking a covalent character and are weak. This observation explains the low high ductility of single crystals of copper. At the macroscopic scale, introduction of extended defects to the crystal lattice, such as grain boundaries, hinders flow of the material under applied stress, thereby increasing its hardness. For this reason, copper is supplied in a fine-grained polycrystalline form, which has greater strength than monocrystalline forms; the softness of copper explains its high electrical conductivity and high thermal conductivity, second highest among pure metals at room temperature. This is because the resistivity to electron transport in metals at room temperature originates from scattering of electrons on thermal vibrations of the lattice, which are weak in a soft metal; the maximum permissible current density of copper in open air is 3.1×106 A/m2 of cross-sectional area, above which it begins to heat excessively. Copper is one of a few metallic elements with a natural color other than silver.
Pure copper acquires a reddish tarnish when exposed to air. The characteristic color of copper results from the electronic transitions between the filled 3d and half-empty 4s atomic shells – the energy difference between these shells corresponds to orange light; as with other metals, if copper is put in contact with another metal, galvanic corrosion will occur. Copper does not react with water, but it does react with atmospheric oxygen to form a layer of brown-black copper oxide which, unlike the rust that forms on iron in moist air, protects the underlying metal from further corrosion. A green layer of verdigris can be seen on old copper structures, such as the roofing of many older buildings and the Statue of Liberty. Copper tarnishes when exposed to some sulfur compounds, with which it reacts to form various copper sulfides. There are 29 isotopes of copper. 63Cu and 65Cu are stable, with 63Cu comprising 69% of occurring copper. The other isotopes are radioactive, with the most stable being 67Cu with a half-life of 61.83 hours.
Seven metastable isotopes have been characterized. Isotopes with a mass number above 64 decay by β−, whereas those with a mass number below 64 decay by β+. 64Cu, which has a half-life of 12.7 hours, decays both ways.62Cu and 64Cu have significant applications. 62Cu is used in 62Cu-PTSM as a radioactive tracer for positron emission tomography. Copper is produced in massive stars and is present in the Earth's crust in a proportion of about 50 parts per million. In nature, copper occurs in a variety of minerals, including native copper, copper sulfides such as chalcopyrite, digenite and chalcocite, copper sulfosalts such as tetrahedite-tennantite, enargite, copper carbonates such as azurite and malachite, as copper or copper oxides such as cuprite and tenorite, respectively; the largest mass of elemental copper discovered weighed 420 tonnes and was found in 1857 on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan, US. Native copper is a polycrystal
Rihards Zariņš was a prominent Latvian graphic artist. He was born in Kocēni and grew up in Līgatne and in Grīva, he pursued his studies in St. Petersburg, where he graduated in 1895 from the Stieglitz Central School for Technical Drawing, he went on to further studies in Berlin, Vienna, where he studied lithography, Paris, where he honed his skills in watercolour and pastels. He returned to Russia where he was employed by the Russian Imperial Printing Office in St. Petersburg for 20 years, acting as technical director. From 1905 he was in charge of designing state papers. In 1919, he returned to newly independent Latvia where he was appointed director of the government printing house, he held that position for over 14 years and retired at the beginning of 1934. After a stroke, he lost his ability to speak. Zariņš was one of the best-known Latvian graphic artists, his first works appeared in the early 1890s on the pages of the then-popular Latvian-language magazine, when he was still a student at the Stieglitz art school.
He dedicated a great amount of time in the study of folk ornamentation, under his leadership, the state publishers produced a monumental work on Latvian decorative arts. During his career, the artist designed many stamps of the Russian Empire, Soviet Russia, Belarusian People’s Republic, Latvia, he is an author of the first Soviet stamps issued in 1918. Zariņš was a prolific artist who produced many book illustrations and lithographs, his oeuvre contains drawings, water-colour painting, caricatures. Among his works of applied art are the design of the Latvian coat of arms as well as several designs for bank notes issued by the Printing Office, several coins of the Latvian lats
Zinc is a chemical element with symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. In some respects zinc is chemically similar to magnesium: both elements exhibit only one normal oxidation state, the Zn2+ and Mg2+ ions are of similar size. Zinc has five stable isotopes; the most common zinc ore is sphalerite, a zinc sulfide mineral. The largest workable lodes are in Australia and the United States. Zinc is refined by froth flotation of the ore and final extraction using electricity. Brass, an alloy of copper and zinc in various proportions, was used as early as the third millennium BC in the Aegean, the United Arab Emirates, Kalmykia and Georgia, the second millennium BC in West India, Iran, Syria and Israel/Palestine. Zinc metal was not produced on a large scale until the 12th century in India, though it was known to the ancient Romans and Greeks; the mines of Rajasthan have given definite evidence of zinc production going back to the 6th century BC. To date, the oldest evidence of pure zinc comes from Zawar, in Rajasthan, as early as the 9th century AD when a distillation process was employed to make pure zinc.
Alchemists burned zinc in air to form what they called "philosopher's wool" or "white snow". The element was named by the alchemist Paracelsus after the German word Zinke. German chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf is credited with discovering pure metallic zinc in 1746. Work by Luigi Galvani and Alessandro Volta uncovered the electrochemical properties of zinc by 1800. Corrosion-resistant zinc plating of iron is the major application for zinc. Other applications are in electrical batteries, small non-structural castings, alloys such as brass. A variety of zinc compounds are used, such as zinc carbonate and zinc gluconate, zinc chloride, zinc pyrithione, zinc sulfide, dimethylzinc or diethylzinc in the organic laboratory. Zinc is an essential mineral, including to postnatal development. Zinc deficiency affects about two billion people in the developing world and is associated with many diseases. In children, deficiency causes growth retardation, delayed sexual maturation, infection susceptibility, diarrhea.
Enzymes with a zinc atom in the reactive center are widespread in biochemistry, such as alcohol dehydrogenase in humans. Consumption of excess zinc may cause ataxia and copper deficiency. Zinc is a bluish-white, diamagnetic metal, though most common commercial grades of the metal have a dull finish, it is somewhat less dense than iron and has a hexagonal crystal structure, with a distorted form of hexagonal close packing, in which each atom has six nearest neighbors in its own plane and six others at a greater distance of 290.6 pm. The metal is hard and brittle at most temperatures but becomes malleable between 100 and 150 °C. Above 210 °C, the metal can be pulverized by beating. Zinc is a fair conductor of electricity. For a metal, zinc has low melting and boiling points; the melting point is the lowest of all the d-block metals aside from cadmium. Many alloys contain zinc, including brass. Other metals long known to form binary alloys with zinc are aluminium, bismuth, iron, mercury, tin, cobalt, nickel and sodium.
Although neither zinc nor zirconium are ferromagnetic, their alloy ZrZn2 exhibits ferromagnetism below 35 K. A bar of zinc generates a characteristic sound when bent, similar to tin cry. Zinc makes up about 75 ppm of Earth's crust. Soil contains zinc in 5–770 ppm with an average 64 ppm. Seawater has only 30 ppb and the atmosphere, 0.1–4 µg/m3. The element is found in association with other base metals such as copper and lead in ores. Zinc is a chalcophile, meaning the element is more to be found in minerals together with sulfur and other heavy chalcogens, rather than with the light chalcogen oxygen or with non-chalcogen electronegative elements such as the halogens. Sulfides formed as the crust solidified under the reducing conditions of the early Earth's atmosphere. Sphalerite, a form of zinc sulfide, is the most mined zinc-containing ore because its concentrate contains 60–62% zinc. Other source minerals for zinc include smithsonite, hemimorphite and sometimes hydrozincite. With the exception of wurtzite, all these other minerals were formed by weathering of the primordial zinc sulfides.
Identified world zinc resources total about 1.9–2.8 billion tonnes. Large deposits are in Australia and the United States, with the largest reserves in Iran; the most recent estimate of reserve base for zinc was made in 2009 and calculated to be 480 Mt. Zinc reserves, on the other hand, are geologically identified ore bodies whose suitability for recovery is economically based at the time of determination. Since exploration and mine development is an ongoing process, the amount of zinc reserves is not a fixed number and sustainability of zinc ore supplies cannot be judged by extrapolating the combined mine life of today's zinc mines; this concept is well supported by data from the United States Geol
The rial is the currency of Oman. It is divided into 1000 baisa; the Omani rial is the world's 3rd highest valued currency. Before 1940, the Indian rupee and the Maria Theresa thaler were the main currencies circulating in Muscat and Oman, as the state was known, with rupees circulating on the coast and Thaler in the interior. Maria Theresa Thaler were valued with 64 paisa equal to the rupee. In 1940, coins were introduced for use in Dhofar, followed, by coins for use in Oman. Both coinages were denominated with 200 baisa to the rial; the Indian rupee and, from 1959, the Gulf rupee continued to circulate. In 1970, the rial Saidi was made the currency of Oman, it was equal to the British pound and replaced the Gulf rupee at a rate of 21 rupees to the rial. The new rial was subdivided into 1000 baisa; the rial Omani replaced the rial Saidi at par in 1973. The currency name was altered due to the regime change in 1970 and the subsequent change of the country's name. For a wider history surrounding currency in the region, see The History of British Currency in the Middle East.
In the 1890s, coins for 1⁄12 and 1⁄4 anna were minted for use in Muscat and Oman. In 1940, coins were issued for use in Dhofar in denominations of 20 and 50 baisa. 1⁄2 rial coins were added in 1948, followed by 3 baisa in 1959. In 1946, 2, 5 and 20 baisa coins were introduced for use in Oman; these were followed, by 3 baisa, 1⁄2 and 1 rial coins. In 1970, a coinage for all of Muscat and Oman was introduced. Denominations were 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 baisa. In 1975, new coins were issued with the country's name given as Oman. 1⁄4 and 1⁄2 rial coins were introduced in 1980. Coins circulating are 5 baisa 10 baisa 25 baisa 50 baisa 100 baisa 1⁄4 rial, 1⁄2 rial. On 7 May 1970, the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman issued banknotes in denominations of 100 baisa, 1⁄4, 1⁄2, 1, 5 and 10 rial saidi; these were followed by notes for 100 baisa, 1⁄4, 1⁄2, 1, 5 and 10 Omani rials issued by the Oman Currency Board on 18 November 1972. From 1977, the Central Bank of Oman has issued notes, with 20 and 50 rial notes introduced that, followed by 200 baisa notes in 1985.
A new series of notes was issued in 1995, the 5-rial notes and higher were updated in 2000 with foil strips: In 2005, a red 1 rial note commemorating the "35th National Day" was issued. In 2010, new 5, 10, 20 and 50-rial notes were issued on the occasion of the 40th National Day; the 20-rial note is blue instead of green. In 2015, a purple 1 rial note commemorating the "45th National Day" was issued; as of 2017, notes in circulation are the 2010 series for higher denominations, the 2015 1-rial note, the 1995 series of 100 baisa and 1⁄2 rial. The 200-baisa note is still in circulation but not seen, older notes of 1-rial and above are still accepted though not found in circulation. From 1973 to 1986, the rial was pegged to U. S. dollar at 1 rial = $2.895 USD. In 1986, the rate was changed to 1 rial = $2.6008 USD, which translates to $1 USD = 0.384497 rial. The Central Bank buys U. S. dollars at 0.384 rial, sell U. S. dollars at 0.385 rial. It is the third-highest-valued currency unit after the Bahraini dinar.
Note: Rates obtained from these websites may contradict with pegged rate mentioned above Economy of Oman Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Information on Omani currency Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs Coins used in Oman The banknotes of Oman
Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a post-transition metal in group 14 of the periodic table of elements, it is obtained chiefly from the mineral cassiterite, which contains stannic oxide, SnO2. Tin shows a chemical similarity to both of its neighbors in group 14, germanium and lead, has two main oxidation states, +2 and the more stable +4. Tin is the 49th most abundant element and has, with 10 stable isotopes, the largest number of stable isotopes in the periodic table, thanks to its magic number of protons, it has two main allotropes: at room temperature, the stable allotrope is β-tin, a silvery-white, malleable metal, but at low temperatures it transforms into the less dense grey α-tin, which has the diamond cubic structure. Metallic tin does not oxidize in air; the first tin alloy used on a large scale was bronze, made of 1/8 tin and 7/8 copper, from as early as 3000 BC. After 600 BC, pure metallic tin was produced. Pewter, an alloy of 85–90% tin with the remainder consisting of copper and lead, was used for flatware from the Bronze Age until the 20th century.
In modern times, tin is used in many alloys, most notably tin/lead soft solders, which are 60% or more tin, in the manufacture of transparent, electrically conducting films of indium tin oxide in optoelectronic applications. Another large application for tin is corrosion-resistant tin plating of steel; because of the low toxicity of inorganic tin, tin-plated steel is used for food packaging as tin cans. However, some organotin compounds can be as toxic as cyanide. Tin is a soft, malleable and crystalline silvery-white metal; when a bar of tin is bent, a crackling sound known as the "tin cry" can be heard from the twinning of the crystals. Tin melts at low temperatures of about 232 °C, the lowest in group 14; the melting point is further lowered to 177.3 °C for 11 nm particles. Β-tin, stable at and above room temperature, is malleable. In contrast, α-tin, stable below 13.2 °C, is brittle. Α-tin has a diamond cubic crystal structure, similar to silicon or germanium. Α-tin has no metallic properties at all because its atoms form a covalent structure in which electrons cannot move freely.
It is a dull-gray powdery material with no common uses other than a few specialized semiconductor applications. These two allotropes, α-tin and β-tin, are more known as gray tin and white tin, respectively. Two more allotropes, γ and σ, exist at temperatures above 161 pressures above several GPa. In cold conditions, β-tin tends to transform spontaneously into α-tin, a phenomenon known as "tin pest". Although the α-β transformation temperature is nominally 13.2 °C, impurities lower the transition temperature well below 0 °C and, on the addition of antimony or bismuth, the transformation might not occur at all, increasing the durability of the tin. Commercial grades of tin resist transformation because of the inhibiting effect of the small amounts of bismuth, antimony and silver present as impurities. Alloying elements such as copper, bismuth and silver increase its hardness. Tin tends rather to form hard, brittle intermetallic phases, which are undesirable, it does not form wide solid solution ranges in other metals in general, few elements have appreciable solid solubility in tin.
Simple eutectic systems, occur with bismuth, lead and zinc. Tin was one of the first superconductors to be studied. Tin can be attacked by acids and alkalis. Tin can be polished and is used as a protective coat for other metals. A protective oxide layer prevents further oxidation, the same that forms on pewter and other tin alloys. Tin helps to accelerate the chemical reaction. Tin has ten stable isotopes, with atomic masses of 112, 114 through 120, 122 and 124, the greatest number of any element. Of these, the most abundant are 120Sn, 118Sn, 116Sn, while the least abundant is 115Sn; the isotopes with mass numbers have no nuclear spin, while those with odd have a spin of +1/2. Tin, with its three common isotopes 116Sn, 118Sn and 120Sn, is among the easiest elements to detect and analyze by NMR spectroscopy, its chemical shifts are referenced against SnMe4; this large number of stable isotopes is thought to be a direct result of the atomic number 50, a "magic number" in nuclear physics. Tin occurs in 29 unstable isotopes, encompassing all the remaining atomic masses from 99 to 137.
Apart from 126Sn, with a half-life of 230,000 years, all the radioisotopes have a half-life of less than a year. The radioactive 100Sn, discovered in 1994, 132Sn are one of the few nuclides with a "doubly magic" nucleus: despite being unstable, having lopsided proton–neutron ratios, they represent endpoints beyond which stability drops off rapidly. Another 30 metastable isomers have been characterized for isotopes between 111 and 131, the most stable being 121mSn with a half-life of 43.9 years. The relative differences in the abundances of tin's stable isotopes can be explained by their different modes of formation in stellar nucleosynthesis. 116Sn through 120Sn inclusive are formed in the s-process in most stars and hence they are the most common isotopes, while 122Sn and 124Sn are only formed in the r-process (rapid neutr
Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940
The Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940 refers, according to the European Court of Human Rights, the Government of Latvia, the United States Department of State, the European Union, to the military occupation of the Republic of Latvia by the Soviet Union ostensibly under the provisions of the 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany. When World War II started in September 1939 with the German invasion of Poland, Latvia had come under the Soviet sphere of influence in the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and its Secret Additional Protocol of August 1939. "Forced to choose between Germany and Russia, they have chosen Germany, because they seek co-operation with western civilization. The rule of the Germans seems to them to be the lesser of two evils." Oberführer Adolf Ax reported explaining the German Waffen-SS Latvian Legion motivation. In the reassessment period of the Soviet history that began during the Perestroika, the USSR in 1989 condemned the 1939 secret protocol between Nazi Germany and herself that had led to the invasion and occupation of the three Baltic countries, including Latvia.
While Russia acknowledged in a treaty with Lithuania the adverse impact by the USSR on Lithuania's sovereignty prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, no such acknowledgement by Russia exists with regard to Estonia or Latvia, the central authorities of the USSR did not acknowledge occupation prior to its dissolution. In July 1989 the country stepped on the road of the restoration of its independence, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Latvia's sovereignty was restored in 1991. On August 22, 1996, the Latvian parliament adopted a declaration which stated that the Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940 was a military occupation and an illegal incorporation. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917, Latvia declared its independence on November 18, 1918. After a prolonged War of Independence and Soviet Russia signed a peace treaty on August 11, 1920. In its Article 2 Soviet Russia "unreservedly recognises the independence and sovereignty of the Latvian State and voluntarily and forever renounces all sovereign rights to the Latvian people and territory."
The independence of Latvia was diplomatically recognised by the Allied Supreme Council on January 26, 1921. Other states followed the suit. On September 22, 1921 Latvia was admitted to membership in the League of Nations and remained a member until the formal dissolution of the League in 1946. On February 5, 1932, a Non-Aggression Treaty with the Soviet Union was signed, based on the August 11, 1920 treaty whose basic agreements inalterably and for all time form the firm basis of the relationship of the two states. Before World War II, the Republic of Latvia and USSR had both signed and ratified following treaties: Kellogg–Briand Pact August 27, 1928 Kellogg–Briand Pact renouncing war as an instrument of national policyNon-aggression treaty Latvia, USSR on February 5, 1932The Convention for the Definition of Aggression On July 3, 1933 for the first time in the history of international relations, aggression was defined in a binding treaty signed at the Soviet Embassy in London by USSR and among others, Latvia.
Article II defines forms of aggression. There shall be recognized as an aggressor that State which shall be the first to have committed one of the following actions:Relevant chapters:Second — invasion by armed forces of the territory of another State without a declaration of war. Fourth — a naval blockade of coasts or ports of another State; the German–Latvian non-aggression pact was signed in Berlin on June 7, 1939. In light of the German advance in the east, the Soviet government demanded an Anglo–French guarantee of the independence of the Baltic states, during their negotiations for an alliance with the Western Powers; the Latvian and Estonian governments suspicious of Soviet intentions, decided to accept a mutual non-aggression pact with Germany. The German–Estonian and German–Latvian Non-aggression pacts were signed in Berlin on June 7, 1939 by Latvian foreign minister Vilhelms Munters and Joachim von Ribbentrop. On the next day Adolf Hitler received the Estonian and Latvian envoys, in course of this interviews stressed maintaining and strengthening commercial links between Germany and Baltic states.
Ratifications of the German-Latvian pact were exchanged in Berlin on July 24, 1939 and it became effective on the same day. It was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on August 24, 1939; the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, signed August 23, 1939 contained secret protocols to split up territories between Germany and the Soviet Union. According to these protocols, Estonia and Bessarabia were within the Soviet sphere of interest, Poland and Lithuania fell into the German sphere of interest; the Soviet Union did not admit the existence of these protocols until, under pressure from the Baltic SSRs, on December 24, 1989, the Congress of the USSR People's Deputies recognized the secret deals and condemned them as illegal and invalid from their inception. Nazi Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939. France and Britain, which were obligated by treaty to protect Poland, responded with notes of protest requesting the Germans withdraw. Following French-British indecision, Britain acted alone moving forward with a two-hour ultimatum at 9:00am on September 3, which France was forced to follow, issuing its own ultimatum.
Despite declarations that a state of war now existed with Germany, the inter-Allied military conferences of September 4–6 determined there was no possibility of supporting an eastern front in Poland. France subsequently requested Britain not bomb Germany, fearing military retaliation against the French populace
Bank of Latvia
The Bank of Latvia is the central bank of Latvia. It carries out economic functions as prescribed by law, it was established in 1922. The principal objective of the Bank of Latvia is to regulate currency in circulation by implementing monetary policy to maintain price stability in Latvia; until 31 December 2013, the bank was responsible for issuing the Lats. The Bank of Latvia administration is located in Riga; the fiscal year for the bank ends on 31 December. On September 7, 1922, the Constitutional Assembly adopted the Law on the Establishment of the Bank of Latvia; the Bank of Latvia was granted emission rights. The Bank's interim statutes were approved on September 19, 1922, with the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, its initial capital was 10 million lats. On April 24, 1923, Saeima approved the Statute of the Bank of Latvia, signed by President Jānis Čakste on the 2nd July; the bank was headed by a board. The Council consisted of a chairman, a deputy and 11 members, but the board included a director general, his deputy and three directors.
On June 17, 1940, Latvia was occupied and was incorporated in to the USSR on August 5. On July 25, the Law on the Nationalization of Banks and Large Industrial Enterprises was adopted. After the Second World War, both money emission and the Treasury's functions were performed by the USSR State Bank, but the money system of the Latvian SSR was under its full control. On March 2, 1990, the Latvian SSR Supreme Council passed the Law "On Banks" and the decision "On the Bank of Latvia", it determined that the Bank of Latvia - a local central bank - was established - an independent state bank, a money issuing center, a central bank in relation to commercial banks, an organizer of the execution of the state budget and a monetary policy regulator. However, only after the Declaration of 4 May 1990 on the restoration of independence of the Republic of Latvia and the collapse of the USSR with the decision of the Republic of Latvia Supreme Council of 3 September 1991 "On the Reorganization of Banking Institutions in the Territory of the Republic of Latvia", the Bank of Latvia became the only central and issuing bank.
It took over the ownership and structure of the USSR banks, Latvijas Republikānisko banku and other state credit institutions. On March 4, 1992, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia passed the Law "On the Acquisition of the Bank of Latvia established in 1922"; the Bank of Latvia's status as the central bank of the country and the issue bank was definitively consolidated by the laws of the Republic of Latvia "On Banks" and "On the Bank of Latvia" adopted on May 19, 1992. For the first time in Latvia, the independence of the national central bank from the government policy was ensured through legislation; the Law "On the Bank of Latvia" did not envisage its commercial activities, therefore, a decision was taken on the restructuring and privatization of 49 Bank of Latvia branches. Like most central banks of the world, the main goal of the Bank of Latvia is to provide inflation at a certain level. After joining the European Union, until its membership in the Economic and Monetary Union, the Bank of Latvia was able to pursue its monetary policy, provided that it is in line with the common EU interests, does not harm the development of other EU Member States and contributes to economic stability.
Membership in the EU envisages joining EMU and the euro. After joining the EU, Latvia had to demonstrate its ability to meet the EMU accession criteria. One of these criteria was the two-year membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism II. Latvia joined it on May 2, 2005. ERM II means that at least two years before the euro changeover, the lats had been pegged to euro and the exchange rate of the lats against the euro may fluctuate by no more than +/- 15% against the lats pegging rate in euro. In order to achieve its main goal, as well as entering the EMU, the Bank of Latvia implemented a fixed exchange rate strategy. Fluctuations around the fixed coupling rate are possible within +/- 1%; the Bank of Latvia had been implementing the lats attraction policy since February 1994, when the lats was pegged to the SDR basket of currencies. The lats was pegged to the euro on January 1, 2005. At the beginning of 2006 and 2007, the Bank of Latvia operated a refinancing rate instrument, a rate for travel. In a situation where banks do not intend to use the instruments offered by the Bank of Latvia, the increase of the refinancing rate has a more signaling function.
The Bank of Latvia is managed by the Bank's Management Board. The council consists of 8 people: the president of the bank, his deputy and 6 members of the council; the Bank's Supervisory Council is managed by the President of the Bank of Latvia. The Governing Council of the Bank of Latvia takes decisions on behalf of the Bank of Latvia. For the practical work and operational management of the Bank of Latvia, the Bank Council establishes a permanent board of 6 people; the Bank's President approves the structure of the Bank of Latvia and dismisses the Bank of Latvia's employees. The presidents of the Bank of Latvia: Artūrs Graudiņš Pāvils Sakss Einars Repše Ilmārs Rimšēvičs Economy of Latvia Latvian lats European Central Bank Latvia and the euro Official site of Latvijas Banka Official site of Latvijas Banka