ATHENS, Greece, Dec. 31 -- Greece Monday became the 12th member of the euro single currency zone, the Guardian newspaper reported in its Monday edition.
Greece was excluded from the first single currency wave for failing to meet criteria to join the euro.
"Our country is already experiencing euro conditions," Prime Minister Costas Simitis was quoted as saying. "We all know that our inclusion in EMU ensures for us greater stability and opens up new horizons."
Greece's double-digit inflation of the early 1990s has been cut to 4.2 percent and its currency, the drachma, has landed on its pre-set central parity of 340.75 per euro. Greece's base lending rate has been cut to 4.75 percent.
The euro made its debut in 11 countries last year. The Vatican said Friday it would adopt the euro, too.