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No major incident has disrupted the changeover to the euro on 1 January in Cyprus and Malta, according to the European Commission. The fact that, as early as 2 January, 92% of retailers were giving change in euros in Cyprus (91% in Malta) is a sign that preparations for the introduction of the euro had been well planned. However, and taking account of an unusual schedule (bank holidays), a large majority of people polled in Cyprus admitted, on 2 January, to only having a few euros in their pocket. In Malta, it is believed that 466 million in Maltese lire are still in the hands of individuals. The exchange is therefore likely to take some time, although this is not a cause of particular concern for the Commission, all the more so since the twin circulation of former currencies and the euro has been extended until the end of January. In only a few hours almost 13 million was withdrawn by individuals from cash points. In order to help Cypriots and Maltese to familiarise themselves...

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