France may have had the euro for more than a decade, but Parisians are cashing in French francs.
The old money ceased being legal tender when France joined the euro. But many people have kept the old notes as a souvenir.
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As one Parisian says:
“I put them aside in 2000 at the time we turned to euros and I had in mind to keep them. But now I tell myself, what’s the point, it’s not worth it. I will make nice colored photocopies and that will be good.”
Another resident reveals:
“I discovered this in an old pair of trousers and this is the last opportunity to exchange them.”
The deadline to change any old money is February 17 and they can only be exchanged at one of the Banque de France’s 64 branches – unless you fancy placing a bet.
French hotel and casino group, Lucien Barriere, has also been accepting the out-of-date currency. Lucien Barriere is Chief General Officer:
“I’m not sure whether the clients spend more money because of this but I’m sure that they’re very pleased with this because they can get rid of their franc notes, knowing that they have only until February 17 to do it, so they like it a lot.”
With the eurozone debt crisis rumbling on and credit ratings agency Moody’s warning France that it may be downgraded, most people in France welcome any extra cash.
They just hope they won’t have to do the same with their euros in the near future.