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IP/11/21

Brussels, 11 January 2011

Estonians are spending their last kroons

The euro changeover in Estonia is in its final stage. With only 4 days to go before the kroon ceases to be legal tender, the vast majority of cash payments are in euro only (80 %) and virtually all customers receive their change in their new currency (97 %). The peak of the changeover activity is over, with the number of ATM withdrawals and cash exchanges slowing down. Banks, post offices and retailers are reported to cope well with the changeover process and parallel handling of two currencies.

The changeover is progressing well and has now entered its final stage before the kroon ceases to be legal tender after this Friday. At the end of Monday 10 January, 80 % of consumers were paying with euro only when using cash. Virtually all (97 %) customers were receiving their change in their new currency, which shows that the Estonian retail sector is properly supplied with euro cash and able to provide change in euro.

Estonians are gradually getting used to their new currency and by yesterday about 60 % of consumers had made a full transition to the euro in cash, in that they were both carrying and paying exclusively in euro.

Yesterday, the value of euro cash in circulation furthermore overtook that of kroon cash in circulation.

About one in five visited a bank/post office or ATM yesterday to get euros and the overwhelming majority continued to report that they had encountered no problems. The number of ATM withdrawals and cash exchanges in banks and post offices has moreover been slowing down as from the last working days of last week, which is also a sign that the peak of the cash changeover is over.

The retail sector is also coping well with the changeover process and parallel handling of two currencies.

The Estonian Consumer Protection Board is carrying out daily inspections to monitor that businesses respect the changeover rules and that prices are properly converted at the official conversion rate of 15.6466 kroons to the euro. Questions to the Board from the public have been fairly limited so far and concern mainly issues such as display of prices in euro and the application of the rounding rules.

For more information on the Estonian changeover and the full opinion poll see:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/focuson/estonia_euro_en.htm

Estonia's national changeover web site:

http://euro.eesti.ee/EU/Prod/Euroveeb/Main_Page/index.jsp

For more information on the euro see:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/index_en.htm


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