New Currency Makes Debut

Desperate to bring stability to Georgia’s troubled economy, the former Soviet republic introduced its long-awaited new currency, the lari, on Monday.

Georgians will have one week to exchange their coupons, an interim currency that has plummeted in value since its introduction in 1993, for the new lari. Georgia’s de facto currency has remained the Russian ruble.

After next Monday, the lari - an ancient Georgian word for money and trade - will be the only legal currency in the Caucasus Mountain nation. One lari will trade at about 77 cents, or 1 million of the interim coupons.

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