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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-01-01

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece inaugurates EU use of new currency, PM withdraws first 10-euro

  • [01] Greece inaugurates EU use of new currency, PM withdraws first 10-euro bill

    01/01/2002 01:08:03

    Greece was the first continental European soil, along with Finland to inaugurate the use of the euro, as Prime Minister Costas Simitis officially announced the circulation of the new currency of the 12 Euro-zone European Union member-states, exactly at the turn of the New Year.

    ?I wish for a happy New Year, a New Year with the euro,? Simitis said addressing a special event hosted by the Bank of Greece at its central offices in Athens to kick off the new currency use in the country.

    The Greek premier noted the significance of these historic times for the future of the country and of Europe and spoke of a more integrated European Union which will use the new currency as a vehicle of progress and prosperity.

    Simitis withdrew a 10-euro bill from an Automated Teller Machine in the bank representing all Greeks in welcoming the use of the new currency.

    The full speech, of the premier to the event that was televised nationally, follows:

    ?Beginning today, January 1, 2002, the drachma our currency since 1833 is replaced by the euro, the currency of the United Europe, one of the strongest currencies of the world,? Simitis said.

    ?Todays circulation of the euro means that our country has made a deep change in its economy. Never before such a deep change was made,? he said.

    ?Our way of life will change gradually. It will change radically. With the step we made we gained more capabilities, more opportunities for the development of the country, in order to create a more social state; to strengthen the international position of the country,? he said.

    ?We are a part of the unified European economic space now,? he underlined.

    ?Today is a landmark moment in the national aim of the Greek people on their way to increase the our standard of living to that of the other European people; to achieve real economic and social convergence. It is also a landmark moment in the cooperation of the European people, in efforts to promote the further European integration. A Europe even stronger, a Europe more social,? the Greek premier concluded.


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