Syria switches to euro amid confrontation with
- Syria has switched all of the state's foreign currency
transactions to euros from dollars amid a political
confrontation with the United States, the head of state-owned
Commercial Bank of Syria said on Monday.
"This is a precaution. We are talking about billions of
dollars," Duraid Durgham told Reuters.
The bank, which still dominates the Syrian market although
private banks have been allowed to set up in the last few years,
has also stopped dealing with dollars in the international
foreign exchange flows of private clients.
The United States has been at the forefront of international
pressure on Syria for its alleged role in the assassination of
former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri a year ago.
Damascus denies involvement in the killing.
"It looks like a kind of pre-emptive action aimed at making
their foreign assets safer, preventing them from getting frozen
in case of any conflict," said a Middle East economist who
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