The day the euro arrived

The day the euro arrived

Logistically, the effort was enormous. And the customers were curious to see what it would be like with the new money. They only knew the euro from pictures or the famous coin starter kit (contents: 10.23 euros worth 20 deutschmarks), which was issued by savings banks and banks in mid-December 2001.

Is the cash enough?

To ensure that everything ran as smoothly as possible at the turn of the year, the banks took precautions: “We started the hard phase of the cash-only changeover in the spring of 2001, Norbert Geier from the Sparkasse Ostunter franken remembers. At the time, he was coordinating the euro changeover in the Hassberge area for his bank. He also looked after business customers, whose main concern at the time was: Is the cash enough?? The savings bank was prepared: “A lot of additional surveillance technology was installed to house the cash reserves.” In the main office in Hassfurt, even part of the basement area was converted into a vault. Overall, says Geier, the changeover has gone well. Customers would have reacted quite positively to the euro. “Everyone was curious to see the new money. The private customers received bills yes starting from New Year from the cash dispensers.” The rush was enormous, and quite a few bank employees had to put in extra shifts.

Queues at the counter

Andrea Jung, a financial advisor at Sparkasse Zeil in Eltmann, remembers: “At that time, there was a vacation ban for everyone.” And then she and her colleagues were literally taken by surprise: “On the first day, people were queuing up at our counters.” Normally the branch is closed from 12 to 14 o’clock, because of cashing up and lunch break. At the beginning of 2002, neither of these things was possible: “The boss decided: We’ll leave it to.” This went on for three days, the rush of customers was simply too great. Break? Denkste! Everyone was needed. One fetched bread time, in ten-minute intervals each savings bank employee said goodbye briefly to eat. The boss reacted: His wife cooked soup for the employees from the second day on, so everyone had a hot meal.
Flessabank had also prepared well for the currency changeover. “The organizational effort was extremely high, because in addition to the introduction of cash, all accounts had to be kept in euros from 2002 onwards, says Robert Willinger, responsible for the branches in Hassfurt, Ebelsbach and Eltmann. “We had a project team for our overall house and the respective branch managers were responsible on site.” All in all, everything went well. Ten years after the introduction of the euro, some are already speculating on its collapse. From Willinger’s point of view, 2012 will be a landmark year for the currency. “Every paper currency lives first and foremost on credibility. This credibility is to be guaranteed by the European Central Bank. This institution must live up to its mission of safeguarding monetary stability.” Achim Gottlicher, who worked at the counter and in customer advisory services at Flessabank in Eltmann ten years ago, recounts customers’ reactions to the new money: “Many said it was nice and colorful, like Monopoly money.” The rush was huge, everyone wanted to see and touch the euro bills. “Customers came in before the end of the year and asked if they could get one or two bills in advance.” But the money was only allowed to private customers from 2002 onwards.

You can find the detailed report in our print edition Frankischer Tag, 2. January 2012, issue for the Hassberge district

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