Monday, November 12, 2007

New euro stamps for Cyprus

The currency in Cyprus will change from Cyprus pounds to euros on January 1st 2008.

Seems like a good move as we have so many European tourists here. Cyprus pounds have been over-valued for many years, and no other country uses them. Banks and supermarkets have been displaying both euros and Cyprus pounds for the past several months on all statements, bills, and so on; for them, the process should go relatively smoothly.

It's harder for small businesses that can't easily work in multiple currencies, as someone was explaining to us. In January, the change-over month, Cyprus pounds will still be valid, but all change has to be given in euros. Some shop workers have a hard time dealing even with change in one currency when it's shown on the cash register machine. ... they're going to find it very difficult with two, when the machine may not show the amount.

Postage stamps have also had to be issued with both currencies, although I assume that after January these will be phased out to allow for euros only. But December, of course, is probably the month when the most cards and letters are sent in the mail so they've had to produce some special dual-currency stamps just for these few months. Here's the standard 30c stamp, which apparently will be €0.51 in the new year. (I realised as I typed that last sentence that I have no idea what the abbreviation for euro-cent is. Will it still be c or is there a new symbol? Anyone know?)

There's one stamp that hasn't been reissued, however. This is a Cyprus speciality, something I haven't seen anywhere else in the world. Every letter, postcard and parcel has to have an additional 1c postage stamp, the proceeds of which go to the refugee fund. That's not refugees seeking asylum in Cyprus (of which there are an ever-increasing number) but Greek Cypriots who became refugees from the North of the country after the invasion in 1974.

I don't know what will happen to this stamp in January, but so far it still looks like this:

1 comment:

Cyprus Stamps said...

Hi, found your comments interesting regarding Cyprus stamps!

Nice to see the Refugee Fund stamp is still going strong. The new 2009 issue has changed colour and now printed only in euro currency at 2 cents.

Kind regards