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Cyprus Well Prepared For the Euro, says EU Commission
2007-11-29 12:43:45

Brussels, Nov 27 - With only five weeks to go before the introduction of the euro in Cyprus, the country seems to be generally well prepared, according to European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Joaquin Almunia.

Presenting the “Sixth Report on practical preparations for the euro: countdown for Cyprus and Malta” Mr. Almunia said that according to the Commission’s final assessment of the state of practical preparations for the currency changeover in both countries, both member states are well prepared for the introduction of the euro.

''Malta and Cyprus will adopt the euro in January 2008, less than four years after they joined the EU. This is something the Cypriot and Maltese people can be proud of because they will become part of the largest monetary area of the developed world, which has delivered an unprecedented period of price stability and favorable financing conditions for businesses and households alike'', said Mr. Almunia.

The Commissioner said a majority (60%) of the euro coins ordered by Cyprus arrived in mid-October, with the remainder expected to be delivered by the end of this month. The required amount of euro banknotes, in which “the equivalent value in coins is 64%”, also arrived at the Central Bank in the course of October, said Mr. Almunia, noting that unlike euro coins, which are produced by each euro area country, banknotes are borrowed for the time being from an existing common stock.

Banks will provide retailers with euro cash before January, so they can give change exclusively in euro from day one. A total of 40,000 pre-packed euro coin kits for businesses (worth €172 each) and 250,000 mini kits for the general public (worth €17.09 each) will be on offer as from the 3rd of December and at least 70% of the country's 550 bank cash dispensers will be ready to dispense euro cash by 1.a.m on January 1, with the remainder expected to be converted into euros by the end of that same day.

The Central Bank of Cyprus has estimated that more than 60 million euro banknotes (worth €1.2 billion) and 395 million euro coins (worth €100.26 million) are necessary. The Republic of Cyprus had a population of 778,684 at the beginning of 2007.

2008 will mark the second enlargement of the euro area since 2002.

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