January 1
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Customers and shop assistants are getting used to new notes and coins
2002: Celebrations as euro hits the streets
England have

Twelve of the European Union's 15 countries have woken to life with a new currency today, as the euro reached the purses of ordinary citizens across the continent.

In the biggest monetary1 changeover in history, more than six billion notes and nearly 40 billion coins have been distributed to shops, banks and cash machines.

The French President, Jacques Chirac, described the development as a "new way of being in Europe."

Just three EU countries have refused to part with their currencies: Britain, Sweden and Denmark.

However, European Commission President Romano Prodi said the arrival of the single currency inevitably2 meant "greater convergence of economic rules" within the eurozone - and any countries outside the zone risked being left out.

Traditional New Year parties became welcome parties for the new common currency in many European capitals.

A million revellers turned out in the German capital, Berlin, and other capitals including Paris, Helsinki and Athens staged special celebrations.

The new currency is unlikely to have its full effect on day-to-day transactions until tomorrow as many businesses are closed for New Year's Day.

National currencies will continue to circulate alongside the new euro for another two months in most member countries.

One notable exception is Germany, where a loophole in the law means the Deutschmark ceased to exist at midnight.

The euro has been used as an electronic currency for financial trading since 1999, but this is the first time it has appeared in the purses of the 300 million ordinary citizens of the eurozone.

The development has intensified3 the fierce debate in Britain, where the government is committed to areferendumon the issue once certain economic tests set by Chancellor4 Gordon Brown are met.

Europe Minister Peter Hain defended the government's position, saying, "We want to join but we will only join when it is economically right for Britain to do so."

But, he added, "The increasingly urgent question for British citizens is whether we want to get left behind yet again as we have been consistently in Europe."  
The Queen, Prime Minister and others celebrated5 at the Millennium6 Dome7
2000: World celebrates New Millennium
Artificially 1969:
The Billions of people around the world have welcomed in the New Millennium with some of the most spectacular celebrations ever seen.
The first people to witness the dawn of the new era were Pacific Islanders - among the last were the Americans.

And fears that the dreaded8 Millennium Bug9 would cause computer meltdown around the world failed to materialise to the relief of those who have invested billions in trying to avert10 a potential crisis.

The unique global experience, which will never again be witnessed by any person living today, was marked by all denominations11 and all classes and creeds12 of people across the planet.

Here in the UK a huge clean-up is now under way after one of the most amazing, yet trouble-free, celebrations this country has ever-seen.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, who celebrated with his wife, the Queen, and thousands of others at the Millennium Dome, said the "confidence and optimism" for the new Millennium should be bottled and kept forever.

More than two million people lined the banks of the River Thames to watch a firework spectacular and although the emergency services were stretched to capacity no major disturbances13 were reported.

In Edinburgh five tonnes of fireworks were set off in four minutes in the city's largest Hogmanay celebrations to date.

Today, thousands of people turned out for a Millennium Day Parade in London and bells were rung simultaneously14 in churches and cathedrals around the country at noon.
referendum: a legislative act is referred for final approval to a popular vote by the electorate(公民投票)



1 monetary pEkxb     
  • The monetary system of some countries used to be based on gold.过去有些国家的货币制度是金本位制的。
  • Education in the wilderness is not a matter of monetary means.荒凉地区的教育不是钱财问题。
2 inevitably x7axc     
  • In the way you go on,you are inevitably coming apart.照你们这样下去,毫无疑问是会散伙的。
  • Technological changes will inevitably lead to unemployment.技术变革必然会导致失业。
3 intensified 4b3b31dab91d010ec3f02bff8b189d1a     
v.(使)增强, (使)加剧( intensify的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Violence intensified during the night. 在夜间暴力活动加剧了。
  • The drought has intensified. 旱情加剧了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 chancellor aUAyA     
  • They submitted their reports to the Chancellor yesterday.他们昨天向财政大臣递交了报告。
  • He was regarded as the most successful Chancellor of modern times.他被认为是现代最成功的财政大臣。
5 celebrated iwLzpz     
  • He was soon one of the most celebrated young painters in England.不久他就成了英格兰最负盛名的年轻画家之一。
  • The celebrated violinist was mobbed by the audience.观众团团围住了这位著名的小提琴演奏家。
6 millennium x7DzO     
  • The whole world was counting down to the new millennium.全世界都在倒计时迎接新千年的到来。
  • We waited as the clock ticked away the last few seconds of the old millennium.我们静候着时钟滴答走过千年的最后几秒钟。
7 dome 7s2xC     
  • The dome was supported by white marble columns.圆顶由白色大理石柱支撑着。
  • They formed the dome with the tree's branches.他们用树枝搭成圆屋顶。
8 dreaded XuNzI3     
adj.令人畏惧的;害怕的v.害怕,恐惧,担心( dread的过去式和过去分词)
  • The dreaded moment had finally arrived. 可怕的时刻终于来到了。
  • He dreaded having to spend Christmas in hospital. 他害怕非得在医院过圣诞节不可。 来自《用法词典》
9 bug 5skzf     
  • There is a bug in the system.系统出了故障。
  • The bird caught a bug on the fly.那鸟在飞行中捉住了一只昆虫。
10 avert 7u4zj     
  • He managed to avert suspicion.他设法避嫌。
  • I would do what I could to avert it.我会尽力去避免发生这种情况。
11 denominations f2a750794effb127cad2d6b3b9598654     
n.宗派( denomination的名词复数 );教派;面额;名称
  • Christians of all denominations attended the conference. 基督教所有教派的人都出席了这次会议。
  • The service was attended by Christians of all denominations. 这次礼拜仪式各教派的基督徒都参加了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
12 creeds 6087713156d7fe5873785720253dc7ab     
(尤指宗教)信条,教条( creed的名词复数 )
  • people of all races, colours and creeds 各种种族、肤色和宗教信仰的人
  • Catholics are agnostic to the Protestant creeds. 天主教徒对于新教教义来说,是不可知论者。
13 disturbances a0726bd74d4516cd6fbe05e362bc74af     
n.骚乱( disturbance的名词复数 );打扰;困扰;障碍
  • The government has set up a commission of inquiry into the disturbances at the prison. 政府成立了一个委员会来调查监狱骚乱事件。
  • Extra police were called in to quell the disturbances. 已调集了增援警力来平定骚乱。
14 simultaneously 4iBz1o     
  • The radar beam can track a number of targets almost simultaneously.雷达波几乎可以同时追着多个目标。
  • The Windows allow a computer user to execute multiple programs simultaneously.Windows允许计算机用户同时运行多个程序。
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