Slovenia will adopt the euro on the 1st of January 2007 at the rate
of 239.640 tolars per euro. It will join the 12 European Union
countries that adopted the single currency in 1999 (2001 for Greece)
first as scriptural or 'book' money and, as from 2002, in the form of
coins and banknotes.
As a result, the euro area will have a
population of 316.6 million, including 2.0 million Slovenians. The
last practical preparations for the introduction of the euro in
Slovenia are proceeding well and according to the national changeover
As was done in 2002 and in accordance with the Slovenian euro
changeover plan, commercial banks in Slovenia started receiving euro
banknotes in early December (the so-called frontloading operation)
and, in turn, begun supplying retailers (sub-frontloading) in order
for them to be able to operate in euros from the 1st of January .
The same happened with coins, 296 million of which were ordered
from the Finnish mint by the Slovenian government. The central bank
started shipping the coins to commercial banks as from mid-September
and the latter also recently begun supplying retailers, according to
their stated needs or, in the case of small shops, in the form of
pre-packed starter-kits for their initial needs. Some 150,000 such
pre-packed kits have been prepared.
Consumers themselves have been able to get 'mini- kits' from
commercial banks. The kits typically contain several of the eight coin
denominations from the 1-cent to the 2-euro coin, worth €12.52. A
total of 450,000 mini-kits have been prepared.
This means that from the 1st of January, Slovenians will be able to
pay in euros or in tolars and receive the change in euros. This
period during which the euro and the tolar will both be legal tender
(so-called dual circulation period) will end on January 14. As from 15
January 2007 only euro cash will have the status of legal tender in
Slovenia. However, it will still be possible to exchange tolars free
of charge afterwards.
Consumers also appear to be adhering to a campaign, launched by
Slovenian banks beginning of December, for them to deposit tolar cash
in their accounts at the euro conversion rate and free of charge, so
as to reduce the backflow of tolar banknotes and coins in
Slovenian companies are confident that the changeover will be a
smooth operation for them and for consumers. More than 97% of the
businesses polled mid-November in a flash Eurobarometer survey expect
their accounting, invoicing and payroll systems to be fully ready for
switching to the euro. About 95% of them also say they have received
sufficient information on the euro and the changeover process. It must
be noted that most of them (60%) started preparations already in the
first half of 2006 or earlier, while 33% did so after July 2006.
Significantly, the large majority (93%) also say that they have no
intention to raise their prices on the occasion of the changeover.
Regrettably, almost 7% admitted to plan to adjust prices
upwards. This is particularly the case among hotels and
The Slovenian government has recently adopted a commitment for
preventing unjustified price rises and recommended consumers to remain
vigilant towards such unfair practices and has argued against
unjustified price increases. Local authorities have been invited to
set the example and not increase prices, fees or taxes for public
services during the changeover period. A similar commitment is
expected from the private sector, notably from retailers.
The Slovenian Consumers' Association is monitoring the prices of
specific goods and services under its 'Pricewatch' project and has
started to denounce any excessive price rises.
But consumers themselves must be on the alert during the changeover
period, check the conversion price, be careful with their change and
protest when faced with unfair pricing practices such as the ones
anticipated in a few sectors. An overwhelming majority of Slovenians
are happy or even very happy to adopt the euro (72%, according to the
September Eurobaromater survey). But they have a role to play in
ensuring that this feel-good factor is not spoiled by a less than
Dual display of prices in euros and in tolars is compulsory since
March 2006, which should help consumers getting used to the new scale
of values, especially since July when the conversion rate was
irrevocably fixed by the ECOFIN ministers, and be able to detect
abuses when they occur.