Nieuwsbericht | 14-01-2007
Reference: IP/07/38 Date: 12/01/2007
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Brussels, 12 January 2007
Slovenia's euro changeover successfully completed
As the second business week in January draws to a close, virtually all cash payments in Slovenia are now being made in euros. Consumers and shops have coped well with payments in euros despite the increased activity since the beginning of the winter sales on 8 January, and everything is back to normal. The tolar becomes history this weekend as the dual circulation period ends on 14 January and the euro becomes the sole legal tender in Slovenia. Slovenia's first two weeks with the euro have gone smoothly with no major problems encountered in the cash changeover.
The use of euros for cash payments has risen rapidly over the past two weeks. While about half of all cash transactions were already made in euros on 4 January, two days later the figure was around three quarters, and now virtually all cash transactions are being carried out in euros.
This is confirmed by the results of a survey carried out among the Slovenian population for the Commission on Wednesday evening, showing that 94% of Slovenians had ‘only’ or ‘mostly’ euro banknotes in their wallets, of which 82% had ‘only’ euro banknotes. The corresponding figures for euro coins were 95 and 81% respectively.
The dual circulation period will end on 14 January. As from next Monday, the euro will be the sole legal tender in Slovenia, as it is in the other 12 €-area countries. Slovenians will continue to be able to exchange tolars at their banks free of charge until 1 March 2007, and after that date at the Bank of Slovenia.
By the end of 10 January 2007, almost 80% in value of Slovenia's former currency, the tolar, had been returned to banks and withdrawn from circulation. By all indications the backflow of legacy cash is proceeding very quickly.
Smooth and efficient changeover
The successful changeover can no doubt be attributed to the thorough preparations by the various actors involved, in both the public and the private sector. Retailers and shopkeepers have helped ensure a rapid changeover by consistently giving change exclusively in euros. They were able to do so thanks to the thoroughly prepared frontloading and sub-frontloading operations by the Bank of Slovenia and commercial banks which provided them with euro cash in good time. The rapid conversion of the banks' automated teller machines (ATMs) on 1 January played a major role in the smooth cash changeover, as did the commercial banks' flexible opening hours for cash exchanges on the bank holidays 1 and 2 January.
Finally, the positive spirit in which the Slovenian citizens have participated in the changeover has also contributed to its success.
To mark the end of the dual-circulation period and, more generally, the successful adoption of the euro by Slovenia, a conference organised by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Slovenia will be organised in Ljubljana on Monday. Joaquín Almunia, European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner, wil be one of the keynote speakers.
The government of the Republic of Slovenia is organising a special ceremony “A Welcome to the Euro” on Monday 15 January in Ljubljana. The ceremony will be attended by Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Commissioner Almunia and the Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnik.
 Surveys were carried out daily in the first week of January and are continuing at longer intervals until mid-January. The results are available at http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/slovenia/main_en.htm