Euro basks in new holiday currency status

8th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 June 2004 , FRANKFURT - More than three years after its introduction the euro has become an accepted method of payment in many holiday destinations and is sometimes preferred to the "universal currency", the dollar. "In the former Yugoslavian region the euro has become almost a normal means of payment," says Uwe Mehltretter of the Frankfurt Reisebank. In Turkey, many prices are listed both in euro and the local lira with the price in euro only minimally higher. The Vatican, Monaco, San Marino and Andorra

8 June 2004

FRANKFURT - More than three years after its introduction the euro has become an accepted method of payment in many holiday destinations and is sometimes preferred to the "universal currency", the dollar.

"In the former Yugoslavian region the euro has become almost a normal means of payment," says Uwe Mehltretter of the Frankfurt Reisebank.

In Turkey, many prices are listed both in euro and the local lira with the price in euro only minimally higher. The Vatican, Monaco, San Marino and Andorra like Turkey don't belong to the European Union but use the euro as a currency.

European Union member countries not part of the eurozone treat the money differently.

The exchange rate of the Danish krone is linked to that of the euro.

"Even in England the euro has become acceptable," says Michael Lermer of the Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt. Harrods in London gives tourists the choice of paying for its exclusive products in pounds or euros.

But there are some EU countries like Sweden which rigidly stick to their local currency, according to Lermer.

"The euro is not accepted in Sweden. It is the kronor and only the kronor," he says.

Switzerland again is different. Surrounded by EU member countries the Swiss cannot but adopt a flexible approach. The euro is accepted as a method of payment but the change is handed back in Swiss francs.

Uwe Doehler of the German Finanztest business magazine says the euro can be swapped for local currency in most Latin American countries and is "advancing in Southeast Asia".

The euro currency was introduced at the same time in France on 1 January 2002 and its overseas dependencies such as French- Guyana, Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean and Reunion in the Indian Ocean.

"The euro can be found in many of the former European dependencies," according to Mehltretter.

The CFA-Franc in the African nations such as Benin, Cameroon and the Ivory Coast is fixed to the euro.

Not only the French but also the Portuguese and the Spaniards are also spreading the euro to other continents.

The euro replaced the escudo in Madeira and the Azores. The Canary Islands have also swapped their pesetas for euros. The euro is also the currency in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

But the banking experts warn tourists from travelling to other countries with too much cash whether in euro or in other currency.

"If the money is stolen or lost it is gone," Uwe Mehltretter of the Reisebank says. "It should be just enough to last for the first few days after arrival".

Uwe Doehler of Finanztest advises tourists to use several currencies. "The further the destination the more varied the cash should be," he says.

Travellers' cheques and credit cards are used in most countries. Within the EU the maestro card is mostly used to draw money from cash machines with the banks operating the machines charging a fee.

The card can also be used as a means of payment without additional charge. A credit card is the most expensive means of obtaining cash. "It is mostly used to pay debts," says Doehler.

DPA

Subject: German news

 

 

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