The Euro Hits Slovenia

Preparing for the currency change over meant that many facilities had to

be terminated for approximately three hours before midnight on 31 December

2006. Automatic teller machines needed to be supplied with the new

currency, credit card facilities had to be adjusted, and even petrol

stations needed to close, while the change over was taking place. A few

customers claimed that the transition did bring a little confusion to their

New Years celebrations, as waitresses and bar tenders were flooded with

different currencies, and had to round off amounts, which were usually

larger. Price hikes and difficulties have been predicted, by analysts,

before the currency change over. But incidents like these were few, as

restaurants and other institutions had prepared themselves for the New Year

currency turmoil, and most business made the transition without any

problems. The public have also shown a growing panic at the thought of

increased prices.

All though Slovenia had prepared the public, trained all administrative

personnel and have ensured that the banks were ready, Andrej Bajuk,

Slovenia’s Finance Minister, urged citizens not to use the teller machines

on Monday morning unless it is an emergency, to ensure that the transition

runs smoothly. To further assist citizens in the change over of the

currency, Slovene Tolar will be permitted, to be used together with the

Euro, until 15 January 2007, after which only the Euro will have monetary

value. In the spirit of the transition, Andrej Bajuk will draw the first

Euro from an automatic teller machine and Mitja Gaspari, the Central Bank

Governor, will exchange the first tolars for Euros.

So far, Bajuk has reported, that the transition has run without any major

problems, and Gaspari has assured the public that the banks have prepared

well in advance for this moment, and laid to rest any fears that the country

might run out of Euros, while everyone rushes to exchange their tolars.

Banks have been supplied with more than two billion euros, which is twice

the amount of tolars that is currently in circulation.

And while the euro patiently waited for its time to shine, a laser sign

decorated the skies with: “The Euro is Coming”, amidst a sea of New Years

celebrations and fireworks.