Estonia swaps kroons currency for euro

Jan. 1, 2011 at 8:24 AM

TALLINN, Estonia, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- The first day of 2011 saw Estonia become the first former Soviet state to replace its currency, the kroon, with the euro.

The small Baltic country of 1.3 million people joined the European Union in 2004, more than 15 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the BBC said.

Speaking in the capital, Tallinn, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip called the currency transition "a small step for the eurozone and a big step for Estonia," the report said.

Estonia is the third former Soviet state to make the currency conversion after Latvia and Lithuania.

The kroon has been pegged in value to the euro since 2002 and banks in the country will continue trading them at par for the first 15 days of January, the report said.

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