The euro cash changeover in Slovenia
On 1 January 2007 the euro was successfully introduced in Slovenia. Today is the first working day of the year in Slovenia, after public holidays on 1 and 2 January, and the euro cash changeover is proceeding well and fully according to plan. The success of the 2002 euro cash changeover is thus being replicated in the first few days of the 2007 cash changeover in Slovenia, thanks to systematic interaction between all the main players and coordination by Banka Slovenije, the national central bank of Slovenia, and the Slovenian Government.
In preparation for the cash changeover and in order to cover demand during the remainder of 2007, Banka Slovenije has received a total of 94.5 million euro banknotes with a face value of EUR 2,175.0 million from the banknote stocks of the Eurosystem. Similarly, following a public tender, the production of euro coins with a Slovenian national side was allocated to the Mint of Finland, which has produced a total of 296.3 million euro coins with a face value of EUR 104.0 million.
To facilitate the cash changeover, Banka Slovenije began frontloading credit institutions with euro coins on 25 September 2006 and with euro banknotes on 29 November 2006. Sub-frontloading, i.e. credit institutions’ delivery of euro banknotes and coins to other professional parties (e.g. retailers and cash-operated industry), began in the course of December 2006. In parallel, the preparation of 150,000 euro coin starter kits for retailers, worth EUR 201 each, and 450,000 euro coin kits for private households, each worth EUR 12.52, allowed change to be distributed widely before the launch. All euro banknotes and coins needed were distributed to banks before 1 January 2007, which paved the way for a smooth and rapid changeover.
In order to facilitate the exchange of national cash for euro cash, Slovenian commercial banks agreed to open 52 branches across the country on 1 and 2 January 2007. In addition, Banka Slovenije opened its own counter.
Another factor contributing to the smooth euro cash changeover in Slovenia has been the rapid conversion of automated teller machines (ATMs). All publicly accessible ATMs and all point-of-sale terminals were converted by the first day of the cash changeover. All ATMs now dispense euro banknotes and retailers give change in euro, which will help to achieve the target of a two-week dual circulation period.