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A successful euro changeover in Estonia

Commission Européenne - IP/11/41   17/01/2011

Autres langues disponibles: FR DE ET

IP/11/41

Brussels, 17 January 2011

A successful euro changeover in Estonia

The dual circulation period ended on Friday 14 January and the euro is now the only currency that is legal tender in Estonia. The changeover was very smooth and successful. No major problems were encountered and banks, post offices and retailers were coping well with the extra workload caused by the changeover process and the parallel handling of two currencies. Those that still have Estonian kroons can exchange them for euros without a fee in all bank branches that offer currency exchange services.

"This successful and smooth changeover is no coincidence. It is the result of careful preparations, in close contacts with the Commission and the ECB." said Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs.

ATMs (cash dispensers) were converted to euros without problems and virtually all of them were distributing euro banknotes as from the first hour of 1 January. POS-(point-of-sales) terminals for card payments in shops were likewise successfully converted to euro in time for the opening of shops on 1 January and interbank payments in euro were running smoothly as from the first banking day of the year.

Banks and post offices coped well with the extra work load during the dual circulation period, although some queues unavoidably built up in the first weekdays of the changeover, with the number of over-the-counter transactions being 3-5 times higher than usual. The retail sector also managed well with the challenges of the changeover process and the handling of two currencies at the same time. No major problems were reported.

On Saturday 15 January, some 13 % of Estonians still had some kroon banknotes in their wallets. These can be exchanged for euros at the official exchange rate and without a service fee in bank branches that offer currency exchange services until the end of June, and then in a limited network of bank offices for at least another six months. Thereafter, kroons can be exchanged for euros without a service fee in the Estonian Central Bank for an unlimited period of time.

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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