Adijo to the Tolar
After 15 years, the first Slovenian currency, the tolar, will gradually disappear from wallets and ATM machines to be replaced by the single European currency, the euro.
Hardly anyone remembers the pride and enthusiasm with which the Slovenians greeted their new currency in the beginning of the 90s. Times were different then: the tolar was the most visible symbol of the newly gained Slovenian independence and as such it was looked upon with particular fondness and emotional attachment.
Although Slovenians have not shown similar enthusiasm with respect to the introduction of the euro it will start on the 1st of January next year, with dual circulation period lasting two weeks -, they are nevertheless the most optimistic about the effects the new currency is likely to have on economic situation among the ten nations that joined the EU in 2004. According to the results of public opinion polls, 80% of Slovenians also feel that they are very well acquainted with the euro. That is not surprising as Italy and Austria, popular shopping destinations with Slovenians, are original members of the euro area.
However, there are some fears that retailers and service providers will use the euro introduction to raise their prices. Inflation is a perfectly normal phenomenon in a market economy, but unjustified price increases were observed in several euro area members when the euro was being introduced in 2002. In any case, one can expect Slovenian consumers to be vigilant: 65% of them are convinced that prices will go up after the euro introduction, which will make it harder for the retailers to take advantage of Slovenian shoppers.