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  Corfu: Money and the Euro

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Since Jan 1st 2002, the Euro was introduced. Gone is the historic drachma - possibly the oldest currency - replaced by coins that look more appropriate decorating a Christmas tree; the notes are a little better.  One Euro is worth 341.75 drachma. If you are bringing sterling - there are still many exchange and travel places. My previous years advice was to change sterling in Greece as you would always get a better rate than UK high street banks.

Corfu Travel Guide with tips and advice for this Greek Island. October newsletter.

Since the Euro's introduction, it has been readily accepted. My only criticism is still the coins. After nearly a year of handling them, I still get confused. The shot above of our till after a busy day at the taverna, shows just how similar they are. The notes are fine, but all the coins are golden in colour pretty undistinguishable.
Many have commented that 'things have gone up with the Euro'. I am not sure. Fluctuating exchange rates make this difficult to asses. People only spent their hard earned money on an item if they perceive that it offers value for money. If it does not then they will not buy. If some companies have increased their prices then the consumer can and will shop elsewhere.

Has the Euro made it easier? For us a little. Gone are the days when Italians would come over in their high-powered boats and demand to pay in Lira - often arguing over the rate. The next time we drive to England we will not end up with a bag of change after the trip. With the increased dependence on plastic money though, I wonder how long it will be before the coins and notes just disappear.

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Corfu: ATMs

ATMs are available all over Corfu in the town and larger resorts. There is a transaction charge of course, but it is the most cost effective way of changing your money into Euros.
One problem with ATMs is that, they can, for unknown reasons not give money and gives cryptic messages as to why, leaving people embarrassed and having to do bank transfers to cover themselves.
It seems that UK travellers will still do best to bring Sterling cash or travellers cheques but bring the credit card(s) for the unexpected doctors bill, a present, or dinner at Taverna Agni!



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