Monday, March 7, 2011

Peseta reintroduced to Spanish town...

Spanish town reintroduces peseta

The peseta has been reintroduced in a small Spanish town nine years after it was replaced by the euro, in an attempt to boost its flagging economy.

Port of Mugardos, La Coruna, Galicia, Spain: Spanish town reintroduces peseta
Port of Mugardos, La Coruna, Galicia, Spain Photo: ALAMY
The townsfolk of Mugardos in northwestern Spain are being encouraged to search out forgotten stashes of the defunct currency and to spend it in local shops.
More than 60 shops in the fishing village on the rugged Galician coast have agreed to accept pesetas alongside the euro in an attempt to encourage spending during a time of economic crisis.
The initiative introduced on March 1, has seen people from across the region travelling to the town with old notes that they failed to convert into the new currency within the given time limit. "People are coming with handfuls of change that they had at home and didn't know what to do with," the manager of the Juan Rey ironmonger in the town, said. "Now they have an opportunity to spend it."
The euro was introduced in Spain in January 2002 when Spaniards were given three months to exchange their old currency at any bank.
Pesetas can still be converted today but only at the Bank of Spain in Madrid.
The shops of Mugardos hope they can accumulate enough of the old currency between them to make a trip to the national bank in the capital worthwhile.
The Bank of Spain estimates that the equivalent of 1.7 billion euros in pesetas remains unaccounted for.
But it is thought that much of the missing currency may never be recovered as it left the country in the pockets of tourists to be either thrown away, stashed forgotten in the back of a drawer, or kept as souvenirs.

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