Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Switching Kuna Cash for Euros - Time Limits Vary for Coins and Notes

September the 14th, 2021 - As Croatia prepares to adopt the euro as its national currency and send the kuna to the history books, just how much time do we actually have to switch any kuna cash to euros?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, last Friday, at a Eurogroup meeting in the Slovenian capital city of Ljubljana, a "Memorandum of Understanding" was signed between the European Central Bank, the Croatian National Bank and the European Commission. Tihomir Mavricek, Executive Director of the CNB's Cash Department, spoke about the bureaucratic phrase (memorandum of understanding) regarding the issuance and production of euro coins in Croatia on HRT's Studio 4 show.

Mavricek simplified the memorandum, why it is important and whether it means that Croatia can mint the euro itself.

The memorandum signed has its own symbolism and practical side. It is symbolic because it is the first official document signed between the three parties, and practical because it completes all of Croatia's preparations for accession to the Eurozone.

How much does it cost to mint the euro?

When asked who will do it in Croatia and how much it will cost, Mavricek said that it will be minted by the Croatian Monetary Institute.

''They've already started their preparations, and the real minting of euro banknotes is possible only after the Council of the European Union makes a decision on Croatia's accession to the Eurozone,'' said Mavricek.

''Based on the memorandum, we can make one million test pieces of each of the eight denominations of euro coins. We can test how ready we'd be to mint all the necessary quantities of euro coins after the Council's decision,'' he said, adding that the cost of making one euro coin costs about 10 cents on average.

Kuna cash and its storage

As for the storage of the Croatian kuna, which will soon be replaced by the euro, he said that since the beginning of the introduction of the kuna, the CNB has produced 2.8 billion pieces of kuna coins.

''If we lined them up next to each other and vertically, we'd get 4500 km of coins, which is from Zagreb to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. They weigh about 10,000 tonnes. Based on the experience of other countries, we expect that about 35 percent of those coins will be returned, or 1.13 billion pieces. That's about 5200 tonnes, which corresponds to the weight of 124 new Zagreb trams. If a truck can load 20 tonnes of coins, we're talking about about 260 trucks of kuna coins,'' Mavricek illustrated.

He said that there would be fewer euro coins, but not because of the exchange rate or the ratio of approximately 7.5: 1.

''There's a conversion methodology developed by the European Monetary Institute, which is based on the fact that we have the same number of coins and banknotes as we had for our national currency. According to the budget formula, we'll get approximately the same number of coins and banknotes, but it will still be a little less,'' Mavricek explained.

He added that according to information from the Deutsche Bundesbank, a huge amount of German marks remained everywhere, and still do. According to some estimates, it amounts to almost 6 billion marks. Even today, stamps can be converted into euros.

''The CNB is preparing for the safe storage of both kuna cash (banknotes) and coins. Banknote issues have already been resolved, and for coins it is currently being resolved. It will be in a safe location that will be guarded non-stop,'' Mavricek said.

Deadlines for exchange of kuna cash and coins

-''Unlike kuna banknotes that will be exchanged for euros indefinitely, kuna coins will only be able to be exchanged for a period of three years. The first year will see all banks take responsibility for that, and then the following two will be dealt with solely by the CNB,'' Mavricek explained, adding that the returned kuna cash will be stored on an area of ​​about 2,000 m2.

He believes that minting euros in Croatia will be cheaper than having them done for the country elsewhere and by someone else.

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Saturday, 28 August 2021

Croatian Sovereignists Launching Campaign for Referendum Against Euro Introduction

ZAGREB, 28 Aug, 2021 - A member of parliament from the Croatian Sovereignists party, Marko Milanović Litre, said on Saturday that his party was launching a campaign for a referendum on the introduction of the euro, criticising the government for ignoring citizens' opinion on the matter.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Croatian National Bank Governor Boris Vujčić and a whole set of Brussels bureaucrats have decided on their own that Croatia should join the euro area, Milanović Litre said in a Facebook post, noting that his party had launched a campaign to protect the national currency, the kuna.

"Referendum is the only way to accomplish that," he said.

Criticising Plenković and his government's attitude to referendum initiatives and what he called disregard for citizens' role in them, Milanović Litre said that that attitude was evidenced by Plenković's recent statement that "from a formal and legal point of view, a referendum on the introduction of the euro was already held in 2012 and a new one is not necessary."

The MP said that ballots for the 2012 referendum on Croatia's accession to the EU, to which Plenković was referring, featured only one question: "Are you in favour of Croatia's accession to the European Union?" and that the referendum campaign made no mention of accession to the euro area.

The Croatian people have the right to state their opinion on all important topics that affect their lives, notably decisions whereby a part of their hard-won sovereignty is ceded to Brussels, said Milanović Litre, adding that Croatia was poorly prepared for EU membership.

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Sunday, 20 June 2021

CNB Removes Certain Croatian Banknotes From Circulation

June the 20th, 2021 - Have you checked your jacket pockets and old wallets lately? If you've got any of these Croatian banknotes lying around, you've only got a certain amount of time to get them exchanged as the Croatian National Banks begin removing them from circulation.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian National Bank has so far withdrawn seven series of 5, 10, 50, 100 and 200 kuna banknotes, six of which were issued back in 1993 and one two years later. To date, however, 9.5 million such invalid Croatian banknotes, out of a total of more than three hundred million printed, are still in circulation.

The highest number of invalid banknotes (11 percent) in denominations of five kuna each were issued back in 1993. This banknote is primarily green with the image of Petar Zrinski and Fran Frankopan. The nominal value of this most invalid banknote stands at around 17 million kuna, writes Vecernji list.

The CNB pointed out that 750 of these oldest paper Croatian banknotes have been returned to them over the last year, and they have been exchanged for the same value. In the last year alone, the CNB received a total of 17,706 invalid Croatian banknotes, including 3,923 200 kuna banknotes bearing the image of Stjepan Radic.

In the year dominated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many people seemed entirely unaware that you haven't been able to spend some of these notes for as long as ten years now. The value of the old 200 kuna note in the last year stood at as much as 784,600 kuna. The total value of all returned Croatian banknotes exchanged from May 2020 to the end of May this year was around 1.44 million kuna in total!

A year ago, about 2,800 ten kuna banknotes, 1,707 20 kuna banknotes, a little more than five thousand old 50 kuna banknotes and a little more than three thousand old one hundred kuna banknotes were ''dusted off'' and returned.

The Croatian National Bank will replace all invalid kuna banknotes free of charge and without a time limit to anyone who brings them in person to the CNB box office at 5 Franjo Racki in Zagreb, or sends them in by mail.

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