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Sunday, 14 May, 2000, 21:10 GMT 22:10 UK
Euro 2000 survivor's guide

Fans have been warned not to buy tickets from touts
From changing money and booking a room to learning the law on drugs and alcohol, check out our beginner's guide to visiting the Low Countries.

Money

Although the euro is legal tender in both The Netherlands and Belgium, there is no tangible currency available as yet and so national currencies continue to be used.



Despite the euro, gilders and francs remain the common currencies
In many instances you will see prices given in both currencies and you are able to pay for goods using euros rather than the local currency when using credit cards or euro-cheques.

The exchange rates change constantly, but as a basic guide:

  • One euro is worth about 60p and 1 is about euro 1.65
  • The Dutch national currency is the Dutch Guilder, which is worth about 28p in GB Sterling and 1 is about NLG 3.63.
  • The Belgian national currency is the Belgian Franc, which is worth about GBP 0.02 and GBP 1 is about BEF 66.53


    Tickets

    The Foreign Office has clearly stated that absolutely no-one should try and enter a game without an official ticket.

    Avoid touts who are likely to be selling fake tickets at extortionate prices.

    Genuine tickets will have a name and number on them which will correspond to the owner.


    Drugs

    The Netherlands Government is renowned for its relatively relaxed attitude towards cannabis.



    Dutch and Belgian laws on soft drugs are very different
    There are plenty of specially designated coffee shops which cater for cannabis users - but synthetic drugs will not be tolerated.

    The rules are different in Belgium, where possession of hard and soft drugs are both deemed illegal.

    British officials, of course, have a stricter approach to their Dutch counterparts, and may impose hefty sentences on those found to be importing illegal substances into the country.


    Alcohol

    For all Euro 2000 matches, alcohol will not be sold in the stadiums or in the immediate surrounding areas and no alcohol will be allowed within 100m of the arenas.

    There will also be restrictions imposed on drinking outside these areas.

    Public drunkenness is against the law in both countries. Anyone who is drunk will not be allowed into the stadiums.


    Policing

    The Belgian and Dutch police have stated that they will adopt a tolerant yet strict approach during Euro 2000.

    Both countries will experience one of the most heavily policed sporting events ever seen.

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