Greece what is your currency

Drachma - the historical currency of Greece

From 1831 to 2001, the drachma was the Greek currency unit. But it was already used to pay in ancient times. It is the oldest currency in the world. Ancient coins that have been found show coins that date back to the 6th century BC. Therefore, a distinction is made between the modern and the ancient drachma. For around four years, from 1828 to 1831, Greece was used to pay briefly with the phoenix, which became the first currency in Greece, which was independent from the Ottoman Empire.

The ancient coin system

The ancient coin system classified the drachma in different subdivisions. 1 talent consisted of 60 mines, 1 mine consisted of 100 drachmas. 4 drachms formed a tetradrachm, 2 drachms a stater. 1 drachm was formed from 6 oboli, a hemidrachm consisted of 3 oboli or 1 tribolos.

In this coin system, the obolus was the smallest coin, which was only divided into smaller coin units in rare cases.

General information

The drachma, which is abbreviated to GRD, had the lepto as a sub-unit. So the drachma is a decimal currency. One GRD was equivalent to 100 Lepta. These were in aluminum coins valued at five, ten, twenty, and fifty lepta. Bills of 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000 GRD were in circulation.

Greece had belonged to the Latin Monetary Union since 1868, which meant that the drachma was pegged to the currencies of this community at a ratio of 1: 1 during this period. The First World War marked the end of the Monetary Union. Through him, the Monetary Union lost its importance and dissolved completely in 1927.

Anyone who went on vacation to Hellas before 2002 may still have one or the other certificate at home, printed with personalities from ancient times. Just like Lepto coins, the notes are collected and offered on exchange platforms. When Greece joined the European Monetary Union in 2001, the currency was pegged to the euro and finally disappeared completely in 2002. Since then, the euro has been the official national currency of Greece. However, the name "Lepta" was retained for the Eurocents. The coins of the Greek cents show the old name Lepto on the reverse.

The current situation

It is popularly said that the meaning of the drachma means something like "throwing your hands out the window". Of course that's not true, but unfortunately this saying is used a lot again today. Greece was bankrupt as early as 1893. The mountain of debt at that time was 850 million drachmas. It is true that "drachma" means something like "a handful". Due to the great financial problems of the country, with the high debt and the national bankruptcy that cannot be ruled out, more and more Greeks are expressing the desire to get their old money back and to leave the European Monetary Union. However, the country is financially supported by many other European countries and has set up a tight-knit savings plan to avert the debt crisis. There are no plans to reintroduce the drachma; it would be the first time in the history of the European Union that an old national currency would be put back into circulation.