Smooth € take-off

The switch to the new currency, the euro, is running smoothly and according to the plans in Slovakia, the European Commission said on December 2. Slovaks were able to withdraw the first € banknotes from ATMs shortly after the euro became Slovakia’s official currency on January 1, 2009.

The switch to the new currency, the euro, is running smoothly and according to the plans in Slovakia, the European Commission said on December 2. Slovaks were able to withdraw the first € banknotes from ATMs shortly after the euro became Slovakia’s official currency on January 1, 2009.

According to an official release by the EC, 94 percent of the ATMs distributed € banknotes at 2 am on January 1 while 1,045 bank branches were open on January 1 to exchange the Slovak currency to euro.

A number of automatic vending machines, for example for public transport tickets were already operational on 1 January. However, some cities provided transportation on January 1 free of charge to make the switchover smoother, the EC wrote.

The commercial activity on the first say was rather low, according to the EC survey: 79 percent of those polled did not make any purchase.

On the evening of January 1, 24 percent of those polled had prevailingly or only € cash in their wallet. Only 1 percent of those polled made their cash payments in euro only while 93 percent of all the citizens who made a purchase on January 1 used Slovak crowns to avoid exchanging these in banks.

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