Athens Greece Now
LIVECAM | Acropolis | Ermou Street | Corfu Beach Cam | Greece Live Cam List | Greece Media List | Streaming List

Central Athens Google Map | Omonoia Circle Livecam | Syntagma | Athens from Piraeus #1#2

Ancient Greek coin featuring Alexander the Great

€uro, US Dollar (and the Drachma) in Greece


Last updated July 1013 2022

The drachma is the currency used in Ancient Greece and modern, from the Archaic period throughout the Classical, into the Hellenistic era and then the Roman period.

The first modern Drachma was introduced in 1832 by King Otto. The euro began circulating in Greece in 2001 with official replacement in January 2002.

€uro to US Dollar converter tool -

July 2022

What you should know about US Dollar to Euro in Greece, 2022MSN News

Older News Items:

Estimated 500 million drachmas still being held

Story at Imerisia [Greek] December 27, 2021

Remember when Greece had a one-hundred-billion Drachma bank note?

November 1944 – story at Greek City Times [English] Dec 28, 2021

SYRIZA currency plan meant printing drachma in Russia

Story at SKAI [Greek] October 15, 2019

Lafazanis: We would have printed drachmas in 2015

Story at Liberal GR July 5, 2018

March 10, 2017

Greece looks to become top tourism destination in the world - Neoskosmos

"When asked if he thought the number of tourists would increase if Greece were to leave the eurozone, he rejected the idea as disastrous for local inhabitants.

"If Greece returns to the drachma we will have millions of tourists, but Greeks will be [living] in a ghetto, behind a wall that will separate them from the tourist areas, in the logic of the Caribbean. It would be an absolute disaster," he [SETE Andreas Andreadis] said."

January 6, 2017

Greece Heads Into Another Economic Crisis: Time To Finally Exit The European Union? - Forbes

Forbes presents a long-ish article by Doug Bandow which provides a overview of the Hellenic economic crisis and contains a nicely done short version of how it got to be this crazy. The history of actions by the EU and Greek politicians detailed in the article is more or less what you have probably heard before, that is, decisions based upon immediate political need with numbers distorted to fit that need (most of the blame here is leveled onto the Greeks, though it would have been good of the author to extrapolate further on how the austerity program was born and why, as he writes "...Which led in 2010 to the start of three bail-outs cumulatively worth almost $370 billion. Greece was the nominal recipient of the cash"). Some have more flatly stated the cash transfers look sometimes like an international money-laundering operation.

In the article there seems to be an attitude that this whole issue is a shell-game of expectations vs reality that can only go on for so long (the piece also contains the de rigueur cheap-shot at the Greeks in general as being 'lazy' - i.e., "... Greeks long have enjoyed a Mediterranean culture very different from that of the northern European states. Time is flexible, leisure is mandatory, and work is unfortunate. Government is a tool by which everyone attempts to live off of everyone else...") That the article provides genuine insights and then tries to wrap it together with such smelly generalizations hurts what Forbes is offering.

There is the alternative view (not in the Forbes piece) that with austerity as a program rolling onward into it's eighth year it seems more likely all of the parties involved will just keep right on "shoveling money" (as the author says) at the problems. What would be best (in this article or some other) would be something that investigates in a definitive fashion what the trigger has to be to end the numbers charade, a political position that forces math to finally take over the matter, if only for a little while. Also unaddressed is the EU's need to keep Greece embedded into it's EU system in order to directly influence (or, really, control) the immigration influx that uses Greece as the door to Germany, Sweden, France, etc.

The article's author hopes that the Greek government will unleash entrepreneurial liberty for the Greeks but the article then completely ignores two realities: one is that Greece has a shadow-economy and the entrepreneurial spirit is unleashed there, but obviously nearly invisible to the statistics quoted by the writer. The second item is that Greece has seen a net outflow of 500,000 people during this period, and the Greek 'brain drain' has been significant. The Forbes article should address this more clearly than just saying legislation on easing of business regulation is needed. It certainly is needed, there's no argument there, but that alone would not deal with the other two matters. Merging the underground economy into the above-ground, insuring that Greece doesn't have to lose any more capable people and can lure back some of those lost, is as important, because fudging the regulation laws alone can't fix the other two.

"...Tsipras mocked “fool technocrats … who can’t even get their numbers right.” Looking toward a possible early election, he added: “we are not going to ask anyone about giving surplus money to those most in need.” His finance minister charged the IMF with “economizing with the truth.” The deputy education minister, representing a small, right-wing coalition partner, charged that his country was being “blackmailed.” Indeed, he added, “For centuries, Greeks have been mercilessly oppressed by the Westerners.”

...Greece’s debt to GDP ratio hit about 100% in 2000, with the country preparing to replace the Drachma with the Euro. Debts began heading up in the latter part of the decade. When creditors finally noticed that Athens might be in a bit over its head back in 2009, Greece’s debt to GDP ratio was about 127%. Today Greece owes around $320 billion and its debt to GDP ratio is roughly 174%, second in the world only to far wealthier Japan. (The debt relief being discussed would only drop that by about 20 points—by 2060!)

May 10, 2016

'Everyone’s outraged': angry Greeks foresee Grexit and drachma's revival - UK Guardian

"A mild man in milder times, Nakos finds himself becoming increasingly angry. So, too, do the vast majority of Greeks who walked through his door on Monday. “Everyone’s outraged, they’ve been swearing, insulting the government, calling [prime minister] Alexis Tsipras a liar,” he exclaims after parliament’s decision on Sunday night to pass yet more austerity measures. “And they’re right. Everything he said, everything he promised, was a fairy tale.”

Until the debt-stricken country’s financial collapse, shops like this were the lifeblood of Greece. For small-time merchants, the pain has been especially vivid because, like everyone Nakos knows, he voted for Tsipras and his leftist Syriza party."

July 10, 2015

Five SYRIZA hardliners say prefer drachma to austerity

Story at ekathimerini

July 4, 2015

Fearing return to drachma, some Greeks use Bitcoin to dodge capital controls

Story at ekathimerini


May 20, 2013

Plan B to take Greece to drachma - Enet English

"Plan B, as the party is called, is the brainchild of Alekos Alavanos, the former leader of Syriza. "Greece is a now a country with no achievement. It’s a society that has lost its self-confidence and its perspective for the future," Alavanos told EnetEnglish. "We cannot wait one day," he said, "Because Greece is dying. There is a generation of people who have never known work. Young people are starting to forget what they studied." Unemployment for the 18-24 age group now stands at 64 percent.

Alavanos believes that Greece can only rebound under a devalued currency, because the euro is making Greek products and services expensive to overseas buyers and to other Greeks. "There is not even one example in the last century of a developed country like Greece that has been in a recession, in a depression, to find its way out with a hard currency. Now we have as our own currency the currency of the Germans," he says.

...Alavanos led Synaspismos, the main party in Syriza, and paved the way for his nephew, Syriza's current leader, Alexis Tsipras, to rise to the top. But the two had a falling out in 2010 over whose protege would carry the nomination for Athens prefect in the local elections, and Alavanos lost out. He now believes that Syriza has left voters without any real alternative to austerity by compromising too far with the troika... "

The Drachma

Plan B - return to Drachma with Alekos Alavanos - May 2013

Talk of default / Drachma rebirth heats back up - March 7, 2011

Rumors of Drachma return grow - Nov 2, 2011

Could the drachma save Greece? - June 6, 2010

GREECE BY NIGHT More News - ArchivePhotos of GREECE
Advertisement: I am an Amazon affiliate

Fodor's Essential Greece: with the Best Islands (Full-color Travel Guide)

Athens Greece Now


Home | Information | Resources | News Archive | Photos | Book Shop | Contact | Copyright | Site Map