Euro used for 75% of payments

EUROPE - The euro is now being used for nearly three quarters of cash payments in the 12-nation single currency zone, according to the European Commission.

Euro notes and coins were launched a week ago, on 1 January.

The post-Christmas sales season in the shops is helping to speed euro coins and notes into circulation and to strip out national banknotes from the countries' economies.

Queues in shops are back to normal and are shortening at banks, the Commission said.

Collectors cause hiccup

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