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Euro Lands in Portugal Successfully
WED, JAN 02, 2002    
The introduction on Tuesday of the euro, the new European currency in Portugal as its legal tender was a success with 17.9 million euros being withdrawn from ATMs in the first 15 hours of the new year, the governor of the Central Bank said.

Vitor Constancio said banks in the country were supplied with 136 million euros in bills to meet public demand from the very first day of the year.

The euro has since been flowing into the Portuguese' pockets and purses, after three years when the euro had been used for contracts, trade and investment.

Just days before the euro came into full use among 12 of the 15 European Union members, Portuguese authorities assured the public that the impact on prices should be minimum, as the slowdown in economic growth was unlikely to trigger price hikes.

However, local media said the introduction of the new currency caused a mixed reaction with price rises in such services as toll motorways and the electricity supply, and drops in other sectors like telephone and fuel for domestic use.

Some analysts believe that effects are just beginning to come out and will become more evident from Wednesday, when economic activities resume.

The Portuguese currency, the escudo, will be definitively removed from the market by February 28.

Editor:casey Source:Xinhua
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