ECONOMY

Cyprus just days away from eurozone entry but time stands still for country’s cabs

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus’s entry into the eurozone on January 1 has exposed a time warp in the island’s taxis, some of which display fares in a currency ditched more than 20 years ago. Some taxi meters still show fares in «mils,» which were withdrawn in 1983 and replaced with Cyprus cents. There were 1,000 mils to the Cyprus pound or 10 to the cent. In a submission to parliament, the Communications Ministry has asked that all references to mils be removed before the end of the year. «I don’t know why, but it was not changed then,» said Makis Constantinides, director-general of the ministry. «It didn’t really make a difference because the mils is a denomination of the cent, you just remove the additional zero. But now there will be an essential difference and it must be changed,» Constantinides told Reuters. One euro is worth 0.585274 Cyprus pounds. Cyprus decimalized the pound in 1955. It had been divided into 20 shillings but they were swapped for 100 cents. The shilling has withstood the test of time, however, as many islanders still refer to it in everyday speech.