Hasta la Vista Euro, Hello Peseta!

Spanish village goes back to peseta

by Lee Moran
Mail Online
February 15, 2012

A Spanish town is looking to the past to safeguard the future of its ailing economy by reintroducing  the peseta.

Fed up with the failing euro, rebellious locals in Villamayor de Santiago have reverted to using the old currency, which was phased out a decade ago.

Around 30 shops in the historic town,  75 miles south-east of Madrid, started accepting pesetas last month after urging customers to dig out any old notes and coins they had forgotten about.Bring back the peseta: the desperate Spanish village of Villamayor de Santiago has turned back time and re-introduced the peseta in a bid to kick-start its ailing local economy

 Bring back the peseta: The Spanish village of Villamayor de Santiago has re-introduced the peseta. Pictured is a poster from villages on the border with Portugal which are also campaigning for a permanent return
As they were: The peseta was phased out in 2002 when the euro was introduced

News quickly spread, and shoppers from neighbouring villages and towns have been flocking there to spend the old currency.

Luis Miguel Campayo, chairman of the local merchants’ association, who came up with the idea, said:  ‘People kept hold of old pesetas thinking that they might come in handy one day if the euro fails.

 ‘It seems that those fears might come true. Lots of Spaniards,  especially older people, have a strong emotional attachment to the peseta and still do their sums in it when talking about big transactions. The economy is struggling so much that euros are scarce.

‘We thought that if people had a hunt around for their old pesetas, then why shouldn’t we accept them as legal currency?

‘It was after Christmas and shops really needed a helping hand and this is what we came up with.’

 Exchange: The euro and peseta exchange rate stood at 166.386 pesetas per euro when the single currency was aligned in January 1999

The country introduced the peseta in 1868, joined the euro in December 2001 and phased out the old currency in February 2002.

However, unlike other euro countries such as France and Italy, it never set a deadline for exchanging pesetas into euros.

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