Press Releases

Successful introduction of the euro in Greece

02/01/2001 - Press Releases

On 1 January 2001, Greece became a member of European Economic and Monetary Union. Greece adopted the single currency at the irrevocable conversion rate of 340.75 drachmas per euro.

The Bank of Greece is, as of 1st January 2001, a full member of the Eurosystem and, in accordance with the provisions of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank, the Bank of Greece today paid up the remainder of its contribution to the capital of the ECB, as well as its share of the ECB’s reserves. It also transferred to the ECB its contribution to the foreign reserve assets of the ECB.

Effective 2 January 2001, all interbank money market transactions in Greece are carried out in euro. Greek banks participated in the main refinancing operation conducted by the Eurosystem today.

The successful introduction of the euro was made possible following the completion at the Bank of Greece, from 30 December 2000 through 1 January 2001, of the final necessary technical and operational adjustments for the introduction of the single currency. Specifically:

  • The new operational framework for the conduct of the single monetary policy was implemented.
  • Credit institutions' drachma-denominated balances with the Bank of Greece related to monetary policy operations and standing credit facilities were converted into euro.
  • The HERMES Payment System in drachmas and the EURO-HERMES System were unified into a single HERMES Payment System, which became fully operational on the morning of 2 January 2001 and settles payments solely in euro. All monetary policy operations conducted by the Bank of Greece, as part of the Eurosystem, will be exclusively settled through the unified HERMES Payment System.
  • The transformation of Bank of Greece accounting systems in the euro environment was successfully completed, as well as of the systems related to the management and trading of Greek government securities.
  • The communication systems between the Bank of Greece and the ECB were put into operation in the new environment.
  • Public debt was converted into euro, with the collaboration of Securities Settlement System members and, effective today, the Electronic Secondary Securities Market operates in euro, ensuring higher marketability for Greek government securities.

The Ministries of National Economy and of Finance, the Association of Greek Banks and the ad hoc committee (GRECO task force), established at the ECB, have all contributed to the successful introduction of the euro.

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