HUNDREDS of people queued along Spain’s streets yesterday in a race to exchange old pesetas for euros ahead of the final deadline.
Wednesday (June 30) was the last chance to swap the old currency for euros and across Spain, people flocked to banks to carry out the transaction.
At the headquarters of the Bank of Spain in Madrid, hundreds of people queued early this morning to exchange their pesetas, while in Barcelona many Spaniards waited in 26C heat to turn in their old coins and cash.
Over €2million was handed out in exchange for pesetas last week and banks say demand has surged in the last few days as people race to beat the closing date.
According to the latest official data from the Bank of Spain released at the end of May, Spaniards still owned €1.5 billion of pesetas.
Since June 23, anyone could exchange pesetas for euros at the Bank of Spain without the need for a prior appointment.
The peseta was Spain’s currency between October 19, 1868, until the introduction of the euro, on January 1, 1999. The National Currency and Stamp Factory (FNMT) last minted pesetas on June 19, 2001, twenty years ago, and although its manufacture was terminated on that date, the ‘ blonde’ peseta was kept in circulation until February 28, 2002, two months after the euro was introduced.
Since June 30, 2002 people have been able to swap pesetas for euros at the Bank of Spain.
Initially December 31, 2020 was set as the deadline for the exchange, but in November of last year the Executive extended the timeframe by six months until June 30 due to COVID-19 restrictions.