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Switzerland gears up for euro

The Euro will soon be familiar currency, even in Switzerland swissinfo.ch

As the euro is introduced in 12 countries across Europe, the new notes and coins will be accepted at a number of locations in Switzerland.

This content was published on December 31, 2001 - 16:49

Though the country is not in the Euro zone, a number of financial institutions and retailers have announced they will accept the new currency as an alternative to the Swiss franc.

The following is a brief guide to where the euro is welcomed in Switzerland:

Swiss Federal Railways

From January 1st, ticket offices at all Swiss Federal Railway stations will accept the euro as payment for regular and season tickets, but change will be given in Swiss francs. With a few exceptions, however, ticket machines will not accept the new currency.

ATMs

Nearly all ATMs operated by the Swiss bank, UBS, are being fitted to offer customers the option of euro banknote cash withdrawals. Cash machines operated by Credit Suisse, however, will only dispense euro notes if they are located in tourist areas or in border regions.

Swiss Post Office

Around 430 post offices, mostly in large towns and cities, will accept euro banknotes, but not coins. Post Office ATMs will not be equipped to dispense Euros for several months.

Shops

Switzerland's two largest supermarket chains, Migros and Coop, have announced they will accept payment in euros, but say they have no plans to introduce dual pricing in store. Prices will continue to be marked exclusively in Swiss francs. Two other stores, Manor and Globus, have also announced they will accept euro payments.

Hotels and restaurants

Most large hotels will accept the euro, along with the Swiss franc and the American dollar.

The euro will also be welcome in many restaurants, particularly in parts of Switzerland frequented by large numbers of foreign tourists.

Expo.02

Organisers of Switzerland's forthcoming national exhibition, Expo.02, announced in December that euros would be accepted as payment for entrance tickets.

However, souvenirs and refreshments will have to be paid for in the domestic currency.

swissinfo with agencies

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