The Slovenian 50 cent coin features the outline of Mount Triglav, a true national symbol which is also depicted on the flag of the country. Since January 1st 2007, Slovenians have been able to cross over it and freely dispense of their new money on the other side of the Julian Alps. That's right, because as Slovenia becomes the 13th country of the Eurozone, it also becomes the first of the original ten from the 2004 intake to reach this important milestone.
Euro responsible for price hikes – say 93% of Europeans
However, the journey towards economic stability has only just begun. There is fear of rampant rounding-up and price rises which are forecast to lighten the Slovenian wallet this new year. According to a recent survey, this does nothing to reassure Slovenian public opinion. This is understandable for Eurozone inhabitants. Five years after the arrival of the Euro, they remain convinced that the single currency is responsible for shooting prices upwards. According to a Gallup poll, 93% believe this, notwithstanding the best efforts of economists and politicians to try and explain why that isn't the case.
Post Office and Spar lead the way
Will Slovenians join the ranks of those already disappointed by the Euro? The Slovenian association of consumers are patrolling the shelves to record price rises. In mid December it drew up a ‘blacklist’ of companies and public services already guilty of indiscriminate price hikes. The Post Office and Spar supermarkets already stand accused. The feared marking up has already started, as if to welcome Slovenia to the Euro. There's no denying it. History has begun to repeat itself.
From Communist Yugoslavia to the Euro: the long rise of the Slovenians
June 25, 1991 - Slovenia declares independence from Yugoslavia
May 1, 2004 - The Alpine country becomes a member of the European Union
March 1, 2006 - Shops start displaying prices in both Tolar and Euros
June 16, 2006 - At the European Council, EU leaders give Ljubljana definitive permission to enter into the Eurozone
January 1, 2007 - The Euro becomes legal tender
January 14, 2007 - End of the period of double circulation Euro-Tolar. The rise continues