Spain´s pre-Euro currency the venerable peseta is set for its final act as the deadline approaches to exchange them for Euros on 30th June.
The Bank of Spain has been running an awareness campaign in order for citizens to exchange their remaining pesetas for euros in the final weeks before the life of the old Spanish currency comes to an end.
The pesetas´replacement began when Spain joined 11 other European Union member countries in adopting the Euro, on 1st January 1999, and which became the official currency when it was introduced into general circulation on 1st January 2002.
The fact that Spain was able to join the Euro zone was considered quite a coup as the ountry met none of the original criteria for joining the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) even as late as 1999.
However it did and the peseta ceased being legal tender in March 2002.
It is believed some 3% of the total pesetas in circulation at the time of the Euro adoption were not exchanged – amounting to around 1.7 billion Euros at the official exchange rate.
It is thought that some may have been hidden and then forgotten or taken out of Spain by visiting tourists.
The official Peseta-Euro exchange rate was set at 166.386 pesetas to the Euro, which continues to be the rate for anyone handing in their pesetas today.
The deadline of 30th June had been extended from its original date of 31 December 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The only places where the old currency can be exchanged are branches of the Bank of Spain or its central Madrid headquarters at Calle Alcalá 48 .