The committee listened to the reports prepared by all their sub-units in relation to preparations for adopting the euro in Estonia starting from January 1, 2011.
According to the chairwoman of the committee, Tea Varrak, the preparations are progressing as planned. “After passing important decisions at the Ecofin Council and the European Council, public interest towards changes approaching together with adopting the euro has grown markedly. More intensive notification by the state commences in late summer and will mostly be focused on practical issues of monetary exchange,” stated Varrak, adding that even though the exchange of kroons into the euros has been made very simple, the state wants to be sure that everybody would be aware how the cash exchange takes place. “The Ministry of Finance considers informing the public about the euro very important and has committed itself to the efforts thereof. To inform the people we use television, radio and the press, also sending out printed materials and using the internet to provide people with necessary information. “Already today a great deal of information is available on the Euroweb euro.eesti.ee, and the EU information phone, 800 3330, is operating free of charge, where questions will be answered in both Estonian and Russian”, added Varrak.
“Technical preparations of the government authorities for the adoption of the euro are moving at planned pace. Most government authorities will have achieved the required readiness already by July 1, 2010. Having bulkier databases, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board as well as the Ministry of Social Affairs and Ministry of the Interior will complete their technical preparations by November 1 this year,” spoke Varrak. Moreover, the Ministry of Finance has asked all local governments to appoint a contact person dealing with the euro preparations, and the Ministry will organise a special information day for these appointed people concerning the matters related to the euro adoption in the near future.
“At the moment, it is most important for entrepreneurs not to postpone their preparations but start acting as quickly as possible, as the queues, e.g. behind the doors of IT-specialists updating the systems, may soon be very long”, said Tea Varrak, emphasising the importance of preparations also in the private sector.
To simplify the life of business operators, with the help of their
auditor company, the Ministry of Finance shall prepare a set of most frequently asked important questions related to
the reorganisation of accounting with answers thereof. The first informative entries on the topic will be posted into
the Euroweb already in the middle of July.
The committee saluted the decision of the banks to start using 5-euro banknotes in cash machines already from January 1, 2011. According to Varrak, the use of small banknotes in December 2010 and in early 2011 would also help to lessen the pressure on retail trade, as after January 1st, change shall only be given in the euros.
The next meeting of the National Changeover Committee shall be held in July.