Opinion: Going after the French franc

POSTED: 01/3/12 4:09 PM

The Dutch guilder is dead as a doornail, but the paper money keeps its value for another twenty years, until January 1, 2032. A year ago, the Dutch still had for close to a billion in guilders in their possession. In October of last year, the number had dropped to 250 million. In other words: the Dutch brought in as year time 750,000 guilders worth of obsolete money to the bank and exchanged it for euros.

In France, the deadline is closer: come February 17, the banks will no longer accept the good old French franc. Retailers have picked up on this in a most creative way: they have started to accept the franc again, and the market is responding beyond their wildest expectations.

According to the French Central Bank the value of not exchanged francs was at the end of last year a bit more than 600 million euro.

The daily newspaper Liberation reported that shopkeepers in Saverdun, a village with 4,600 inhabitants, collected already 15,000 francs (worth about €2,200), and these guys started their action not even two weeks ago.

This reminds us: our French-side neighbors may also have a stash of old French francs in an old sock somewhere. What stops our retailers – be it on the Dutch side or the French side – from following the example of French retailers and accepting that money as well for the next six weeks?

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