FRANCE: FRENCH FRANCS FINAL DAYS ARE TICKING OUT - THE FURNACE WILL BE THE LAST STAGE FOR ONE OF EUROPE'S OLDEST CURRENCIESRecord ID: 639531
- Title: FRANCE: FRENCH FRANCS FINAL DAYS ARE TICKING OUT - THE FURNACE WILL BE THE LAST STAGE FOR ONE OF EUROPE'S OLDEST CURRENCIES
- Date: 9th January 2002
- Summary: (W5) PARIS, FRANCE (9 JANUARY 2002) (REUTERS) LV SHOPPING STREET PAN OUTSIDE OF SOCIETE GENERAL LAS EXTERIOR BAKERY MCU OF MAN PAYING FOR BREAD WITH FRANCS CU FRANC COINS MCU (French) UNIDENTIFIED OLD MAN SAYING: "I have lots of francs stashed up in my attic. I'll keep using them until the last day, and then I will paper my walls with the ones that are left." CU EURO COINS ON COUNTER SV SALESWOMAN TAKING COINS MCU/SV (French) UNIDENTIFIED BAKER SAYING: "We are seeing less and less francs. We were closed for the 1st of January, but since the 2nd it was pretty much fifty-fifty. Now the francs are beginning to fade away. My husband wants to keep one complete series for each kid. We have only one child, but he's told me to keep three series... I'm not sure what he's trying to tell me." (2 SHOTS) SLV OF CUSTOMERS INSIDE BAKERY SV FLOWERS ON DISPLAY AT FLOWER SHOP SV FLOWER STORE OWNER PREPARING FLOWER GIFT MCU (French) UNIDENTIFIED FLOWER STORE OWNER SAYING: "In the last two or three days we've seen that people are finally beginning to come to grips with the euro. I think in 10 or 15 days it will all be over, and we won't talk about it any more. Everyone seems to be getting into euro mode now." CU/SV OF MAN PAYING FOR FLOWERS WITH EUROS (2 SHOTS) SV/CU OF MAN RETRIEVING EUROS FROM AUTOMATIC TELLER (4 SHOTS) (W5) PARIS, FRANCE (9 JANUARY 2002) (REUTERS) MCU/CU MAN RETRIEVING EUROS FROM AUTOMATIC TELLER (3 SHOTS) MCU (French) UNIDENTIFIED CUSTOMER SAYING: "I will keep some [francs] as a symbol, so I can later show them to the people who will come here after me." LAS PEOPLE QUEUING AT BANK COUNTER CU/SV BANK CLERCK CUTTING HOLES ONTO FRANC NORTES (4 SHOTS) Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Reuters ID: LVA88PMGXRV9CAVQPG33H6E1W3O9
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Duration: 00:02:55
- Topics: Finance
- Story Text: French francs are still alive, but their final days are ticking out - the furnace will be the last stage for one of Europe's oldest currencies.
The final fate of the old currencies like the Franc in this case is death by fire. The franc burning operation is carried out at large furnaces by the Monnaie de France. Coins, in turn, are expected to be melted down and each metal recovered for further uses.
Just over a week after the launch of the euro, French customers are going through a relatively smooth transition from franc to euro, although perhaps less so than suggested by political leaders who on the first day were already hailing it a great success.
Many, though, are still paying their purchases in French francs, forcing most shop keepers to handle double cash registers. Automatic tellers and bank counters only hand out cash in euros, but consumers seem to have stashed enough francs to keep the old coin circulating longer than shop owners would have hoped.
"I have lots of francs stashed up in my attic. I'll keep using them until the last day, and then I will paper my walls with the ones that are left," an older man paying for his bread with the old coins told Reuters Television, perhaps only half jokingly.
Rather than make a special trip to the bank, where some customers have complained of having to queue for up to an hour to change up their old francs only to be told by some branches to go elsewhere, many clients are preferring to change their money into euros as they do their shopping. While most banknotes do come from cash dispensers and over the counter at banks, it is effectively the retailers who bear the brunt of injecting euro coins into the economy and withdrawing the old legal currency.
"We were closed for the 1st of January, but since the 2nd it was pretty much fifty-fifty. Now the francs are beginning to fade away," said the baker, and added that she and her husband are planning to keep a whole series of the old currency as a souvenir for their children.
Concerned that retailers might run out of small change, the government last week reminded the banks that the exchange function is their responsibility, and that shops were not expected to be used as bureaux de change by customers wanting to get rid of big denomination franc notes.
Once they eventually hit the bank, each franc note is manually ear-marked with one hole across the surface and two half-circle shaped holes along the borders, to ensure they will not make it back into circulation.
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- Embargoed:24th January 2002 12:00
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