How ready are we to welcome the euro currency? One can never be really prepared for such a major event, at least from the technical point of view. First of all, we have to get used to converting from drachmas – 340.75 drachmas per euro. We won’t need to worry about converting the sums in our bank accounts – that will be done automatically. Though we will have to exchange all those coins gathering dust in drawers, preferably by using them in small stores that always need change. And it’s about time those of us who have persisted with the stock market realize the value of our shares in euros. It would also be useful to work out the value of our homes. After all, the most difficult thing about changing currency is working out whether something is expensive or cheap, just as when one is in a foreign country. So if you don’t want to become tourists in your own homeland, practice as much as you can. One sure way of working things out is to calculate your income in euros. First relax, for the result of the division will show you that on January 1, 2001, you won’t have more than just one or two thousand. Then, look on the bright side. The next time you go abroad, you can just leave with the money in your pocket, if you have any left! Despite initial objections, all Turkish political parties represented in Parliament have agreed to vote for the reforms, therefore no last-minute complications are expected. Nevertheless, these reforms satisfy only a fraction of the conditions necessary for true democracy. This is not only the view of organizations fighting for democratic and human rights, but that of European Union officials and prominent Turks.

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