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L. Paul Bremer
Address to the Iraqi People
For Broadcast at
1730 Friday
10 September 2003

Masaa al Khair.

I am Paul Bremer, administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Six months have now passed since the liberation of Baghdad. History will show that the toppling of Saddam’s Baathist regime was a great day for you, the people of Iraq.

Now, six months later, I am sure you know things are significantly better and improving all the time. 

· Electrical production is at pre-war levels.

· More and more Iraqis are taking on essential security tasks, protecting your lives and property.

· The Governing Council and the ministers they appointed are representing you around the globe—in the United Nations General Assembly, in the Arab League, at the Islamic Conference Summit.

· Your Foreign Minister announced on Thursday that Iraq will open embassies in 30 different countries.

I speak with Iraqis every day and I know of your optimism. I, like you, believe your future is full of hope.

A change is coming that further symbolizes the emergence of a new Iraq, an Iraq that is full of hope.

Beginning on 15 October you will have new currency. The old bills you have will be replaced with new ones at no cost to you.

There are two real advantages for you in this system:

First, there will be bills in more denominations. Unlike today, when you must make do with bills of 250 Old Dinars or with Swiss Dinars, you will have bills worth:

50 dinars

250 dinars

1,000 dinars

5,000 dinars

10,000 dinars, and

25,000 dinars.

Obviously this will make all kinds of cash transactions much easier.

Second, these new bills will be much harder to counterfeit, which will make it much harder to cheat you.

Additionally, these bills will not have Saddam’s picture on them. You will no longer have to carry the tyrant’s portrait with you.

The process of exchanging your money will be very simple. There are only a few things you need to know:

· There is no charge of any kind to you for the exchange.

· One old dinar equals one new dinar.

· One “Swiss” dinar equals 150 new dinars.

· You can exchange your old money for new at any time between 15 October and 15 January.

· There is no advantage to exchanging early or late. You get the same number of new dinars for your old or Swiss dinars no matter when you make the exchange.

· There is no need to rush in the first day--there will be plenty of new dinars and both old and new currencies will be accepted until January 15.

· There will be 250 exchange points conveniently located throughout Iraq.

· If you have a bank account the change for your money in the bank will be automatic.

· You will also receive new currency in the normal course of business. If you work for the government and are paid in cash, your pay will come in New Dinars. 

After so many problems with currency, some of you are no doubt concerned about things like where you can exchange the money and whether or not there will be enough.

I assure you that there will be plenty of new bills. We have acquired literally tons and tons of money. There will be more than enough to exchange all the old currency for new.

By now you should be seen newspaper advertisements and posters announcing this change and the location of the 250 exchange points. 

No doubt some of you will want to change your money in the first day or two. You are welcome to do so, but the lines might be long. If that is the case, you can wait a few days or even a few weeks. 

You do not have to exchange your money right away. The old money will be good until January 15 and there will be plenty of new money to go around.

Let me repeat these simple things to remember about the New Dinar:

1. There is no charge to you.

2. One old dinar equals one new dinar.

3. One “Swiss” dinar equals 150 new dinars.

4. You can change any time between 15 October and 15 January.

This new currency is a symbol of the hope in your future. It will be safer and easier for you to use. Beyond that, Saddam is off your money and out of your lives.

I tell you today, as I have in the past, your future is full of hope.


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