How is Croatia adapting to the Euro? Read On

Key Highlights:

  • Croatia’s local currency, Kuna, was replaced by the Euro.
  • 45% of Croatians already had a euro account for significant expenses, but now all have to get used to a single currency for everyday purchases.
  • According to the Eurobarometer, while older people are attached to the Kuna, 55% of Croatians prefer adopting the euro.
  • The Kuna was the currency of Croatia from 30 May 1994 until 31 December 2022. The Croatian National Bank issued the Kuna, and the National Mint manufactured the coins.

The National currency is a source of pride for the Country. It holds the same stature as a National heritage site. The legal tender speaks to the culture and the values attached. The sentimental value of the spending prowess is unparalleled.

Croatia was the 20th country to gain the Eurozone tag, which meant it would have to adopt the standard European currency. This change was implemented with effect on 1st January 2023.

It was a way to ring in the New Year. But, unfortunately, or fortunately, the economic and political landscape witnessed and will continue to see and grapple with the change.

The elder folk of this small nation were in two minds about this paradigm shift. Some citizens raised concerns like the price rise and affordability.

President of the Croatian Association for Consumers Protection’s mention of the Nation’s Older Folks

The President, Ana Knežević, believed, “For the old people, it is difficult to count how much it is now when the prices are in euros. We have double prices so it is very easy to compare.”

The conversion rate of Kuna was well-known to all the citizens, young and old. However, it would take some time for senior citizens to adjust to the conversion rates and local European Union functioning.

“People don’t have much money to spend, food is costly, heating and electricity are also expensive, so it is very difficult to live. Croatia is a small country; pensions are not high, so you can imagine how they live.”

The standard of living has suddenly elevated for the people living in Croatia. For example, a loaf of bread would increase, and so would other everyday produce like coffee beans, vegetables, and fruits.

The rates of all commodities have seen an upward trend. There are mixed reactions at the veggies market, and everyone is trying to understand the change. One individual was of the view that the price skyrocketing is, as such, of no consequence.

Tourism Industry and Travels Impact With the Currency Upgrade:

In 2020, more than 70% of Croatian goods exports were traded in Euros and only 16% in US dollars. The goods export is attached to the trade and commerce of the country. The tourism industry has also seen a growth spurt.

The following is the news snippet related to travel:

The swerve to the Euro and the entry into the globalized Schengen area are expected to revitalize sectors such as tourism, 24% of Croatia’s GDP, and manufacturing, a critical export sector at over 12% of GDP.

The intention with which Euro has been assimilated into society could be a political power move on the part of the European Union. Strong-arming the neighboring countries into the European fold is a significant paradigm shift.

Ways In Which The Government is helping citizens learn to love the Euro:

A collaborative effort is underway to help people understand the Euro-switch’s economic implications and personal finances.
The change involves the following pressure points:

  • Every product and service in Croatia is now bought and sold in euros.
  • The conversion rate from the old Kuna to the new Euro is fixed.
  • 1 Euro= 7.53 Kuna.

The general provisions that have been put forward for the smooth transition include the following pointers:

  • Businesses-both big and small has to project prices in both currencies till December 2023.
  • Agencies such as the Croatian Association for Consumer Protection would be checking out for signs of price manipulation.
  • The Inspectors can issue fines if prices are not displayed in Euros and Kuna.
  • Kuna coins and notes can be exchanged without commission in Croatian Banks.

Potential Dicey Domains:

    • Operators of coin-operated services such as car parks declare that they have performed a cost round-up. It is due to the machines not accepting the nominal value of Euro cent coins. As a result, car park services could intentionally or unintentionally see a looming problem in the coming years.
    • Many traders claim that price increases result from magnified costs, not the introduction of the Euro.
    • Large foreign-owned retail stores are mainly to blame for introducing merciless price hikes, while smaller local stores respect the official exchange rate. The above is the viewpoint of the Croatian Agriculture Chamber President.

- Published By Team Timeswire

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