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Euro is the currency of Greece already since 1 January 2001.
On 1 January 2002 euro banknotes and coins will be put in circulation thus it will become possible to effect all payments in euro, irrespective of size, although drachma banknotes and coins can also be used for payments until 28 February.

Drachma banknotes and coins will cease to be legal tender (i.e. generally acceptable means of payment) as from 1 March 2002 and from that date onwards all payments must be effected in euro. Euro banknotes embody state-of-the-art security features.

You can read more about this in a public information leaflet circulated by the Bank of Greece.

1. The Minister for the National Economy and the Governor of the Bank of Greece chose the designs for their euro coins from a set of proposals presented by a national technical and artistic committee.

The designer of the winning motifs was sculptor Georges Stamatopoulos, sponsored by the Bank of Greece.

There is a separate design for each denomination.

2. How will the public and firms get hold of euro banknotes and coins? As of 17 December 2001 banks will make available to the public starter kits with euro coins at a price of 5,000 drachmas.

From 1 January 2002 euro banknotes will be available: at the counters of commercial banks and of the Bank of Greece, and at ATMs (automatic teller machines)

Furthermore, - salaries and social benefits will be paid in euro, and firms will give change in euro, whenever possible.

In addition, firms can be frontloaded by their banks with euro coins from 1 November 2001 and with low-denomination euro banknotes (5 and 10 euro) from 1 December 2001.

However, it is forbidden to put euro banknotes and coins into circulation prematurely, i.e. before 1 January 2002.

The law provides for penalties for offenders. 3. How will drachma notes and coins be withdrawn from circulation? Drachma notes and coins will circulate alongside euro notes and coins until 28 February 2002 (inclusive).

The public can deposit drachma cash with their banks, as bank accounts will be converted into euro automatically by 31 December 2001.

Until 28 February 2002 the public can exchange drachma cash for euro at commercial banks, free of charge.

After the end of the dual circulation period (28 February 2002) the public will still be able to exchange any remaining drachma banknotes for another 10 years (until 1 March 2012) at the Bank of Greece and any remaining drachma coins for 2 years (until 1 March 2004) at the Bank of Greece and Tax Offices.

4. The euro cent has value The euro conversion rate of the drachma is: 1 euro=340.750 drachma.

One euro is subdivided into 100 euro cent.

A euro cent does not represent negligible value: The 1 euro cent coin corresponds to 3 drachmas, the 10 euro cent coin represents 34 drachmas and the 50 euro cent coin is worth 170 drachmas.

To convert drachmas into euro we divide the drachma amount by 340.750 and then we round to the nearest euro cent.

Alternatively, to convert euro into drachmas we multiply the euro amount by 340.750 and then round to the nearest drachma.

5. Useful advice to the public.

Get informed about the denominations and the visual appearance of the euro banknotes and coins and familiarize yourself with their security features.

Deposit with your bank or use up all your drachma cash holdings, especially coins, by the end of 2001. Buy starter kits with euro coins from 17 December 2001 and start using the coins on 1 January 2002.

Starter kits are not collector items: use the coins in every-day payments.

But don\'t forget that you should not use euro coins (nor, of course, euro banknotes) before 1 January 2002.

Avoid mixing euro banknotes and coins with drachma banknotes and coins in your payments. Pay the exact price, whenever possible. rush, by exchanging at the banks or depositing remaining drachma cash before or after the first days of January 2002.

Before the end of the dual circulation period use up any remaining national coins of other euro area countries (e.g. Deutsche Marks, French Francs, etc.) or exchange them at the corresponding national central bank (in Germany, France, etc.) or donate them to charity.

All major Credit Cards as well as Euro-cheques are recognized and accepted in most hotels, shops, travel and car rental agencies and restaurants. Stickers in the front windows will advise you as to which cards are acceptable.

In case of loss or theft of your credit card call immediately: Tel.: 010 9503673 can Express Mon-Fri.:08:30-16:00 Sat.: 08:00-13:00 Tel.: 010 3244975 24 hour service Tel.: 00 441273526840 .24 hour service Tel.: 010 9290000 24 hour service Tel.: 010 9290200 Eurocard/Mastercard 24 hour service Tel.: 010 9503673 Visa International 24 hour service Tel.: 010 9503673 Tel.: 00 800 11 6380304 by all the major companies are widely recognized.

You can cash your traveler\'s cheques in all Greek and foreign banks, exchange bureaus and big hotels, but do not forget to have your passport with you. Identification is necessary for the transaction.

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