Author Topic: Ahead of switch to euro, Slovakia turns up public education  (Read 3566 times)

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Offline Miguel.mateo

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Ahead of switch to euro, Slovakia turns up public education
« on: December 17, 2008, 08:28:15 AM »
I thought this was funny, but it is a reality.
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Pavol Peschl has been driving his "Euromobil" minivan and singing about the euro in the most remote places around Slovakia since mid-September.

"Come here, don't miss your chance to learn about the euro. We don't distribute free euro packages but we'll give you information," the 34-year-old actor called out in the center of Radosina, a quiet village of 2,000 inhabitants in western Slovakia.

The blue minivan painted with a giant one-euro coin has spent more than 50 days on the road and visited 76 places since it kicked off from Bratislava in September.

"It's a big challenge, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There won't be more currency changeovers any time soon," said Peschl.

The "Euromobil tour" is a part of a 195-million-koruna (6.5-million-euro, 8.4-million-dollar) national information campaign to prepare the country for the changeover from the national currency, the koruna, to the euro on January 1.

The campaign includes TV spots, printed adds, a song contest and a special theatre show for the country's large Roma minority -- as well as the blue minivan with the one-euro coin painted on the side.

On this cold and windy day, Peschl cranked up the sound system and let loose a pop song from the Euromobil loudspeakers into the empty streets of Radosina.

Two young women, an old man and a small boy with a big blue school bag eventually formed the audience for his one-man-show.

"Don't worry if you find treasure -- Slovak korunas buried in your garden -- in ten years from now, you will still be able to exchange them for euros in the central bank," the tall and smiling actor joked.

According to him, acting, singing and dancing is very useful to convince the people "because they are often very sceptical about changes".

His show is based on the daily life, with examples of bread or hamburger prices -- depending on the audience.

"I am very satisfied, our campaign has met its objectives," Igor Barat, Slovakia's "Mister Euro" told AFP, identifying the targets as "sensitive" groups such as old people and Romas.

"The feedback is positive: the latest polls showed that almost 90 percent of the Slovaks feel well-informed about the euro," said the government's top official for euro adoption.

There was still evidence of bewilderment on Radosina's streets, however, including Zita Cingelova, the owner of a flower shop.

"It will be very complicated for old people. Korunas and euros look very alike, people will be confused," said the 52-year-old woman.

"The conversion rate is 30.126 korunas per euro. Learn it like the Lord's Prayer," Peschl explained to her.

Religious references have proved helpful to ease the fear, Peschl says, as about 70 percent of 5.4 millions Slovakians describe themselves as Roman Catholics.

"When they hear that euro is used also in Vatican, they look relieved. After all, it can't be bad when the Pope is using it," smiled the actor.

It is far easier to convince the younger generation.

"We've just learned division in mathematics class and we also did exercises about the euro," explained Adam, 10, the youngest spectator of the Radosina show.

"When the post man delivered the eurocalculator to our mailbox I immediately counted how much euros I would get as pocket money," the schoolboy added.

The "Euromobil tour" has been targeting the remote regions where some people still lack information about the euro changes.

While an economic boom fueled by foreign investment has made the capital Bratislava and west of the country appear like neighbouring eurozone member Austria, parts of the east, and the Roma ghettos that dot the countryside, look a world away.

The turnout varies from place to place, with sometimes only a dozen of listeners, but in eastern Slovakia, especially regions inhabited by Romas, Pavol Peschl said he sometimes played for more than 200 spectators.

"Euromobil" will finish its tour on December 23. Only a week later, on January 1, a new era for Slovakia will start as the 16th member of the eurozone.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Ahead of switch to euro, Slovakia turns up public education
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2008, 11:20:43 AM »
Reality indeed. When the euro was introduced here, I thought all the propaganda was a bit exaggerated too. However, there were early reports of taxi drivers in Rome who wouldn't accept the new coins and even an old Spanish woman who'd locked herself up in her house as she was convinced that the changeover would mean war. Apparently, gross stupidity lives and thrives and you have to do these things. No wonder our dear leaders trn arrogant ...

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Ahead of switch to euro, Slovakia turns up public education
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2008, 11:57:54 AM »
"When they hear that euro is used also in Vatican, they look relieved. After all, it can't be bad when the Pope is using it," smiled the actor.

Hehe, good argument. But I don't know about those korunas buried in the garden that this actor mentioned; if you find them in ten years, the coins can (AFAIK) not be redeemed any more. And paper should at least not be in the ground next to the worms, or else ...

Guess the massive information campaign in the first euro countries was necessary because, during the first three years of the euro, many did not care. Why think about a currency that was introduced in Jan-1999 but did not "appear" in terms of cash until late 2001? That was different in Slovenia for example and will also be different at least in parts of Slovakia.

Christian

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Ahead of switch to euro, Slovakia turns up public education
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2008, 12:09:21 PM »
I don't know about those korunas buried in the garden that this actor mentioned; if you find them in ten years, the coins can (AFAIK) not be redeemed any more. And paper should at least not be in the ground next to the worms, or else ...

Burying in the ground is not good for coins either. A century of over-fertilization has done unspeakable damage to copper coins. Detector amateurs here refer to their duit pieces and Romans as "see-through coins". I have seen silver coins at half weight and all brittle because all the copper had seeped away into your drinking water. Acid soil (woods, parks, heather) will also destroy coins. Maybe the only combination that will not harm a coin is sandy soil and gold. As for paper: moist will deal with it in a matter of years.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Ahead of switch to euro, Slovakia turns up public education
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2008, 03:40:28 PM »
Ah, but from a non-collector's POV even a "fairly rotten" coin could still be exchanged after many many years - if the central bank does that. Just checked, and Slovakia has an unlimited redemption policy for SKK notes. Coins can be redeemed until the end of 2013.

And now, pop music. ;D
http://www.dw-world.de/popups/popup_single_mediaplayer/0,,3881720_start_46_end_348_type_video_struct_3066,00.html

Here is a DW-TV report about the changeover in Slovakia, and it starts with Viera Berkyová singing a euro song. She won a "Superstar" contest a few months ago and is apparently pretty popular in the country. Oh, and she is from a Roma family; her parents are definitely not what could be called affluent ...

Christian

« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 03:41:48 PM by chrisild »

BC Numismatics

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Ahead of the switch to the Euro, Slovakia turns up public education.
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2008, 08:10:38 AM »
Christian,
  Have you found any cool Slovakian Euro changeover videos up on YouTube yet?

If so,then you should post up some links to them here.

Aidan.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Ahead of switch to euro, Slovakia turns up public education
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2009, 02:23:34 PM »
Euro banknotes and coins successfully introduced in Slovakia
By Banque Centrale Européenne (www.ecb.int) - January 02, 09 at 12:27

On 1 January 2009, euro banknotes and coins were successfully introduced in Slovakia – the sixteenth Member State of the European Union to adopt the euro. Until 16 January 2009, it will be possible to pay in cash using either euro or Slovak koruna banknotes and coins. However, change will only be given in euro. Thereafter, the euro will be the sole legal tender. An information campaign has been run to inform Slovak citizens of the visual elements of the euro banknotes and coins, their security features and the modalities for their introduction in Slovakia.

The cash changeover has been progressing smoothly and according to the national changeover plan devised by the Slovak Ministry of Finance and Národná banka Slovenska, which counts extensively on the involvement of the major stakeholders in the cash cycle. From a logistical point of view, one of the key elements of the cash changeover plan has been the pre-distribution (frontloading and sub-frontloading) of euro cash to professional parties, which started in September 2008.

The frontloading to the banking sector and the subsequent sub-frontloading of euro cash, via banks and post offices, to retailers and similar businesses resulted in the widespread availability of euro banknotes and coins, e.g. in automated teller machines (ATMs) and shops’ cash registers. By the end of 2008, 51.1 million euro banknotes and 338.9 million euro coins had been frontloaded, of which 14 million euro banknotes and 254 million euro coins were subsequently sub-frontloaded. During December 2008, to enable citizens to pay the exact amounts in shops, thereby reducing the amount of money for change kept by shopkeepers, Národná banka Slovenska, commercial banks and post offices also offered 1.32 million coin starter kits containing 45 coins with a combined face value of EUR 16.60.

To cover the launch requirements – including the amounts needed for frontloading – and the prospective demand in the remainder of 2009, Národná banka Slovenska borrowed 188 million euro banknotes with a face value of EUR 7.1 billion from the Eurosystem’s stocks. The 499 million euro coins with a face value of EUR 165.2 million were produced by the Slovak Mint in Kremnica.

To make the cash changeover proceed both as smoothly and as swiftly as possible, as of 1 January 2009 all publicly accessible ATMs have been dispensing only euro banknotes. Furthermore, all commercial banks which are members of the Slovak Banking Association opened their exchange counters on 1 January 2009, an exercise that will be repeated over the coming weekend of 3 and 4 January 2009.

Until 19 January 2009, Národná banka Slovenska, commercial banks and post offices will exchange Slovak koruna banknotes and coins free of charge, without any restrictions, at the official conversion rate of EUR 1 = SKK 30.1260. After that date, the no-charge arrangement will remain in place for up to 100 coins until 30 June 2009 and for up to 100 banknotes until 31 December 2009. The Slovak national bank will redeem koruna banknotes for an unlimited period of time. In the case of coins, the redemption period will run until the end of 2013.

In connection with the introduction of the euro in Slovakia, the national central banks of the euro area will be exchanging Slovak koruna banknotes for euro at the official conversion rate until 28 February 2009, as a free-of-charge service. The amount exchanged is limited to EUR 1,000 for any given party and transaction on any one day.

Source: EduBourse
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.