U.S. dollar is legal tender
SAN SALVADOR -- El Salvador adopted the U.S. dollar as legal tender
kicking off the new year with a brisk exchange of greenback bills at automated
teller machines in supermarkets and banks.
Government officials expressed satisfaction with public acceptance
so far of the
new system, which retains the local Salvadoran currency, the colon, and fixes the
exchange rate at 8.75 colons to the dollar.
Congress on Nov. 20 approved a monetary integration law allowing
of the U.S. currency in all areas of Salvadoran economic activity, which is
expected to give greater flexibility in transactions performed in euros, yen and
``Today is the first day of the new millennium, the first day
of the dollar's free
circulation and, in our opinion, of many good things for El Salvador,'' said Juan
José Daboub, an assistant to the president.