Amendements to the law accepted earlier this week by the Macedonian parliament make payments in currencies other than the official Macedonian denar punishable with a fine equivalent to up to 7000 euro and between six months to five years of imprisonment, Bulgarian National Television said.
The new amendments ended an era in which euro, dollars and German marks were accepted in financial traffic, a practice that started in the former Yugoslav republic and continued after Macedonia's independence until the present day.
The problem is compounded each year when Macedonians from abroad, as well as tourists, visit the country and prefer to pay in euro or dollars, in spite of exchange rates in the street being lower than the official rate.
Finance minister Trajko Slavevski was quoted by Bulgarian National Television as saying that payments of goods or services in currencies other than the denar were a criminal offence, punishable by fines and imprisonment.
Exchange bureaux were expected to see an increase in turnover and profit following the amendments of the law.