New money for Estonia as the country becomes the 17th member of the euro zone despite the collective currency’s ongoing troubles.
The euro became official tender in the Baltic state after the country’s original cash, the kroon, was finally phased out over the weekend.
It becomes the first former Soviet state to adopt the currency:
But what do locals think about it?
Raile Purkas said, “I like it because I’m used to travel. And it is so much easier if you don’t have to think anymore what it is in kroons and what it is in euros.”
Janek Johanson agreed: “Its ok. I was on a trip to Sweden and Norway. And coming back now yesterday I felt – when having a euro and paying with euro in a store like, I’m at home.”
The European Union heaped praise on the transition calling it the most effective changeover ever recorded. The Estonian Central Bank says around 117 million euros worth of kroon remain in circulation. As for the old notes they are being shredded and pressed into bricks to be used for heating, the coins will be resurrected as brand spanking new euros.