A new year approaches, and for one nation, a new currency. On 1 January Latvia will become the 18th member of the euro zone, and the 2nd ex-Soviet state to adopt the euro.

The Latvian people though, are sceptical. Opinion polls showed just 53% of citizens supported the move, compared to 76% when neighbours Estonia joined in 2011, and many fear the switch could lead to an increase in prices. Latvian authorities have carried out a large-scale publicity campaign to inform people of the benefits joining Europe's monetary union will bring.

Since October, shops have been made to display their prices in both Latvian lat and euros, with some private shops already accepting euros now.

Latvia is among the fastest-growing countries in the European Union, expanding by five per cent in 2011 and 2012.

The Baltic state was given the green light to join the euro zone in July, and the country's finance ministry has predicted around 4.2% growth for this year and the next.

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner