PRESS RELEASE

Update on the euro cash changeover

4 January 2002

On the fourth day since the euro banknotes and coins were introduced, the euro changeover is progressing smoothly and some logistical targets will soon be achieved. By noon today the conversion of 97% of the ATMs in the euro area had been completed.

On 1 January 2002, 6.4 billion euro banknotes were put into circulation, with a value of EUR 133 billion. EUR 5, EUR 10 and EUR 20 banknotes made up 82.4% of the total in terms of actual banknotes and 43% in terms of value (see the table below). This far exceeds the proportion of national banknotes of a similar value previously in circulation in the individual euro area countries.

The few crude euro banknote reproductions discovered to date were quickly identified as such. The euro banknotes have state-of-the art security features which can easily be checked in a matter of seconds by consumers and professional cash-handlers alike.

Dr. Willem F. Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank (ECB), said "the changeover is keeping pace well. The public is continuing to make active use of the euro banknotes and coins". He went on to add "I share the enthusiasm of Europeans for their new money".

The national central banks of the euro area will exchange their national banknotes and coins for euro banknotes and coins free of charge for long periods, and those of Austria, Germany, Ireland and Spain will do so for an unlimited length of time. They will also continue to exchange the legal tender national banknotes of the euro area Member States for euro free of charge until 31 March 2002.

The next update on the euro changeover will be issued on Monday, 7 January 2002.

For further information on the euro cash changeover, please visit the ECB's website at http://www.ecb.europa.eu and the Euro 2002 Information Campaign website at http://www.euro.ecb.int.

Annex : Circulation of euro banknotes and coins (pdf 8 kB)

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