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Basic principles of the euro changeover in Slovakia

The euro was introduced in Slovakia on 1 January 2009 in cash and scriptural form without a transitional period, i.e. within a Big-Bang scenario. On this date, euro became the legal tender in the Slovak Republic. Slovak euro coins are valid in all euro area countries and also other euro area countries’ euro coins are the legal tender in Slovakia. Banknotes are the same throughout the euro area. From 1 January 2009 scriptural payments are exclusively in euro.

Euro is used in cash circulation from 1 January 2009. Koruna became only a euro denomination. For a short dual circulation period, until 16 January 2009, it was possible to pay also with koruna banknotes and coins in the Slovak territory. The Slovak currency was gradually withdrawn from the circulation. By the end of the dual circulation, euro is the sole legal tender in the Slovak Republic.

Conversion of koruna values to the euro on 1 January 2009 must be performed with the conversion rate, which was irrevocably set by the Council of the EU. It is not possible to use any other rate. The conversion rate was set as a coefficient with six significant digits. It expresses the equivalent of one euro in koruna (EUR 1 = SKK 30.1260). The conversion rate must not be rounded or shortened to less than 6 significant digits in making conversions.

It is not permitted to use an inverse coefficient.

The euro introduction can not influence the continuity of contracts and other legal instruments. All contracts containing references to the Slovak koruna remained valid after the euro changeover. Values in koruna were regarded as values in euro, converted at the conversion rate. It was not possible to terminate any contract due to the euro changeover. At the same time, however, the principle of the freedom of contract was preserved and contracting parties could, by bilateral agreement, change their agreement following the euro changeover in any way.

Following the euro introduction on 1 January 2009 it was necessary to regard references in legal instruments to the koruna as references to the euro, converted at the conversion rate. Financial amounts set in koruna which should be paid or entered into accounting in euro were rounded to the nearest euro cent. Only the final value was rounded, not partial items. No fees might be charged related to the conversion of koruna values to euro. In specific cases set by a law the rounding was even more precise than to the nearest euro cent.

The euro introduction must not harm citizens or consumers. Fees and taxes, if not precisely converted according to the rounding rules, should be rounded down, payments to citizens should be rounded up. Values rounded in favour of citizens were adjusted to whole 10 euro cents.

During the changeover all necessary steps were taken so that the process was not abused to increase prices. The price developments were monitored and rules for the conversion of prices and their showing was enforced. Price stability must be maintained also in supplier-customer relations.

Each business entity was responsible for covering its individual costs arising from the euro changeover. This applies for both the private and the public sector. Euro changeover implementation costs should be as low as possible.

General government bodies and local authorities or other public bodies were responsible for preparing the respective normative legal acts according to their competence. Each entity, including private sector businesses, was responsible for its organisational preparation for the euro changeover.