Euro sale hits million

Euro sales got off to a quick start in Switzerland, as they did here in Germany Keystone

More than one million euros have been purchased in Switzerland in the first two days of 2002 as the Swiss strove to be among the first owners of the new currency.

This content was published on January 2, 2002 - 17:16

After the Swiss Federal Railways opened bureaux de change at mainline stations in Zurich and Basel at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, the sale of the euro has surpassed all expectations.

Several hundred people queued up for hours in order to get hold of the new currency as soon as possible, and exchange offices extended their opening time from 2.00am to 3.30am on New Year's Day.

Christian Ginsig, a spokesman for the Federal Railways, said demand increased significantly on January 2, when the four exchange offices in Zurich saw queues all through the day.

Staff at exchange bureaus said they had never seen such strong demand for one single currency and some already had to put in new orders for more euro notes and coins.

According to Ginsig, many tourists have already used the new currency to pay in shops and restaurants in ski resorts.

swissinfo with agencies

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