PRESS RELEASE

Successful conversion to the euro

3 January 1999

During the changeover weekend the ESCB has been monitoring the conduct of conversion activities at the ECB, at the participating national central banks (NCBs) and at certain private institutions which - in the view of the ESCB - represent the core of the financial infrastructure in the euro area.

Information has been exchanged on a regular basis through a network of communication points between the ECB and the NCBs. Regular contacts have also been maintained with other EU and non-EU central banks. Several NCBs have already published their assessment of the changeover process at national level.

In the monitoring of conversion activities conducted by the ESCB during the changeover weekend no incidents have been reported that may impair the smooth start of the system. The ESCB considers this to be a sign of the quality of the preparatory work conducted over recent months and years by the central banking community and by private financial market operators.

A last exchange of information before the opening of the markets will take place between the ad hoc communication points at the ECB and at the NCBs at 7 a.m. tomorrow, 4 January 1999. The ESCB will henceforth continue, as a part of its normal practice, to monitor closely developments in the markets.

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