To the more than 80 people who had requested an appointment and who had priority, around another hundred without an appointment were added, who patiently kept their turn, in a queue that sometimes went around the corner, although the truth is that most of those who were waiting did not seem to be in a hurry either.
«We had the coins and we saw that the deadline was running out and we came. If they give us something, it will be good, but if not, then we have thrown the morning, ”acknowledged Jesús Marquina, who soon after came out as loaded as he had arrived because his coins are not among those that can be exchanged.
In this sense, it should be remembered that the Bank of Spain only accepts the coins that were in force when the euro entered circulation and, in the case of banknotes, only those that are after 1939. At the branch door itself, the staff of the supervisory body was in charge of checking the money that citizens brought and informing them if they could change it or not.
Many of those present in the queue had found their small booty in pesetas after the death of a relative, who treasured them as a souvenir. “My husband used to collect them, but why do I want them?” Genoveva Caamaño pointed out yesterday. «My father gave them to me, who kept them as a souvenir. He liked to keep one ticket of each class. I have kept the ones that are truly old, but all the others I have brought to change, “explained Miguel Barragán, who calculated that he would carry around 200 euros to change.
Others literally took the pesetas out of their coat pockets. «It is a habit that I have. I keep tickets to have them when I need them, but then I forget where I put them. I have searched and I have found them, ”said Carmen Giménez.
There are even those who made the two-hour queue “for loudmouths”, as Guillermo Poyatos claimed, laughing. «We were commenting the other day that the term was ending and a friend said that she still had pesetas and asked me if I could exchange them. And here I am, “he explained. Thanks to the favor, her friend will recover about 180 euros.
After a trickle over the years, it was about ten days ago when the Bank of Spain branch in Alicante began to notice a greater influx of citizens to exchange pesetas. Last Friday some queue was registered, although it was this Monday when the avalanche occurred, which the director of the delegation of the public body, Pedro Sánchez, believes that it will continue until Wednesday, when the deadline ends.
From the Bank of Spain they have reinforced the attention to the public and the entire workforce, who had been taking shifts since the outbreak of the pandemic, is these days completely at the facilities. In addition, a procedure has been enabled to streamline the process and citizens can leave the money there and sign a document that they will accept the count made by the Bank of Spain, which will subsequently enter it into the current account indicated to them.
At the end of May, the supervisory body calculated that about 264,000 million pesetas were still in the hands of citizens, that is, the equivalent of more than 1,500 million euros. Until the process is closed, it will not be facilitated what percentage of that amount has been redeemed these days, although it is assumed that a large part will be lost. In most cases, those who go to the Bank of Spain these days carry small amounts, although the agency acknowledged yesterday that there have also been cases of people who have presented up to one million pesetas. Certainly a much more painful amount to lose.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.