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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 5, February 3, 2008, Article 25

CYPRUS CONVERTS TO THE EURO

Dick Johnson writes: "As Cyprus converts to the euro --
officially January 1, 2008, with the last day of circulation
of the old coins and paper money this last Thursday -- the
Financial Mirror reflects on Cyprus prior money systems,
coins and currency.

"Commenting on the old money the article stated: 'The CYP
paper notes will be destroyed and the coins sold as scrap
metal, ending an era that saw the adoption of the British
currency in Colonial times that later became the national
currency and saw the introduction of the decimal system
with the thousand-unit mils in 1960 and the cents in 1983.'

"Central Bank Governor Athanasios Orphanides said on Tuesday
they were satisfied with the successful transition from the
outgoing currency to the new one. “We have done very well.
It is remarkable how fast we made the transition and how
fast the people of Cyprus became accustomed to the euro,”
Orphanides said, adding that “we did not need to take
contingency plans out of our drawers,”

"The pound was first introduced in 1879, a year after
Britain took the island as its colony. It was equal in
value to the pound sterling until independence in 1960
and was initially divided into 20 shillings. However,
unlike sterling, the shilling was divided into 9 piastres
and the piastre into 40 para (like the Turkish kurush).

"In 1955, Cyprus decimalized with 1000 mils to the pound,
but the 5 mil coin was known as a "piastre" and the 50 mil
coin as a "shilling". The subdivision was changed to 100
cents to the pound in 1983 when the smallest coin of 5 mils
was renamed as ˝ cent, but abolished soon after.

"The Cyprus national currency was replaced by the euro on
January 1, 2008. The currency entered the Exchange Rate
Mechanism II on May 2, 2005 and it was limited within the
band of CYP 0.585274 ±15% per euro. A formal application
to adopt the euro was submitted on February 13, 2007 and
on May 16, 2007, Cyprus and Malta won the European
Commission's approval, a decision which was confirmed
by the European Parliament on June 20, 2007 and the EU
leaders on June 21, 2007.

"Note to U.S. Treasury officials: Cyprus abolished their
smallest coin soon after 1983. Does that give you a hint?"

Read the full story:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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