European Commission survey: Croatia’s euro changeover is progressing well

NEWS 06.01.202317:14 0 komentara

Almost one week after Croatia's entry into the euro area, a European Commission survey finds that its euro changeover has progressed well in its initial phase, and the Commission says the 1 January changeover marks an important milestone for Croatia, the euro area, and the entire EU.

“A large share (51%) of cash payments in shops were already made in euro only on 5 January. A large majority of transactions (93%) resulted in consumers receiving their change in euro only. 35% of Croatian citizens polled said they already carry only euro banknotes, with 36% saying they only carry euro coins,” according to the survey.

According to a Eurobarometer survey on 5 January, 6% of 199 respondents had Croatian kuna in their wallets, 5% had mostly kuna, 19% had mostly euro, 35% had only euro, 27% had half kuna and half euro, and 8% had no banknotes.

On that day, 25% of respondents used kuna for their last cash payment, 3% used both kuna and euro, 29% used only euro, 13% paid with a card, and 30% did not buy anything.

The dual display of prices in kuna and euro became compulsory on 5 September 2022 and will apply until 31 December this year.

The withdrawal of kuna banknotes and coins from circulation began in December 2022. By 31 December, 55% of kuna banknotes and one third of kuna coins had already been withdrawn.

“Croatia’s retail sector has been coping well with the changeover process and parallel handling of two currencies,” the Commission says.

“No major problems regarding queues or problems at the tills have been reported. The conversion of ATMs… has also proceeded smoothly, with 70% of all ATMs already distributing euro banknotes as from the first hour of 1 January 2023. The number and volume of withdrawals have remained at comparable levels to before the euro changeover.”

Croatia introduced a Business Code of Ethics “to ensure stability of prices for goods and services by helping businesses to correctly recalculate and display prices, without unjustified increases. A national inspection body is tasked to monitor and control prices and can take appropriate measures in case of infringements,” the Commission says.

It will continue to monitor Croatia’s euro changeover as well as measure Croatian citizens’ experience with the changeover through a number of further surveys in the coming weeks.

On 1 January, Croatia also joined the Schengen Area.

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