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How Cyprus Joined The Eurozone

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Information on Cyprus adopting the Euro

Kalavasos Village                                         Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

On 1 January 2008 the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurosystem and in so doing introduced the euro as its official currency, replacing the Cyprus pound as the unit of account. Thus, euro banknotes and coins will be the country’s legal tender.

The euro is subdivided into 100 cent. There are currently in circulation seven denominations of euro banknotes (€500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10 and €5) and eight denominations of coins (€2, €1, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cent). The euro banknotes are exactly the same in all euro area countries.

The euro coins have a side which is common for all euro area countries and a national side which shows country-specific designs. As with banknotes, euro coins can circulate in all euro area countries irrespective of the issuing country. The Cyprus euro coins depict, on their national side themes which reflect the island’s civilization, history and wildlife.

The 1 and 2 euro coins depict a cross-shaped idol which dates back to the Chalcolithic period (3000 BC). It is a characteristic example of prehistoric art in Cyprus and represents the heritage and civilization of a country with a history of over 10.000 years.

The 10, 20 and 50 cent coins depict the Kyrenia ship, a replica of a 4th century BC Greek merchant ship. The wreckage of that ship was discovered on the seabed off the coastal town of Kyrenia. Its depiction on the euro coins symbolizes the importance of the sea as well as of shipping and trade for Cyprus, throughout the island’s history.

The 1, 2 and 5 cent coins depict the moufflon, which symbolises the island’s rich wildlife. The moufflon is a unique species of wild sheep endemic to Cyprus and is considered one of the natural treasures of the sland.PIO

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