Drachma granted stay of execution on stamps

Although the drachma will be no longer legal tender in Greece after March 1, the old currency will remain in use on stamps until the end of next year, post office officials said yesterday. Originally, the post office (ELTA) had said drachma-priced stamps could only be used until the end of 2001. But we had a lot of complaints from our customers, mainly companies which had large stocks of stamps left over, the manager of ELTA’s philately service, Vassilis Schinas, told Kathimerini. So the ELTA board decided to extend the deadline until December 31, 2002. Although only euro-priced stamps will be printed as of January 1 – starting with a set of 21 stamps featuring traditional dances – ELTA customers will be able to use combinations of drachma and euro stamps. After the end of 2002, post offices will exchange drachma stamps with the corresponding value in euro issues.

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