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  Introduction | French Banker | German shopkeeper | Irish consumer | Italian tourist
Irish consumer worries
Currency image with map inset
One of the main benefits of the introduction of the euro could be cheaper prices.
Consumers can compare prices across Europe and find the best deals.
But many people worried that during the changeover, shops were confused and may have increased their prices before people noticed the difference.
In Ireland, the changeover went smoothly - but people are still coming to terms with using the new currency.
The Consumer's story
"The first purchase I made on January 1st was a pint of milk down at the corner shop. The shopkeeper said to me 'that'll be 50p and God knows how many euro! I had 50p so I didn't push it but he didn't have a clue about the price in euro.
While I was away in Leitrim in the north west of Ireland I saw a set of knives for sale. There was a sticker on them saying 'IR£7 or 14 euro'. I definitely knew that wasn't the right rate of exchange, and it turns out the man who runs the shop doesn't have a clue about money!
I am getting a rough idea of the conversion rate. For my son Vanya's birthday I bought him a budgie. I'd done research into the price and it was about £60. Then this year, it was priced in a different shop at about 80 euro and I thought that sounded about right.
I definitely wouldn't make any big purchases this year. I wouldn't feel comfortable buying a house or a car. Even buying a piece of furniture, I think I'll wait until I feel more comfortable with the currency before buying something I wouldn't normally."

Full story:
Ireland's smooth changeover

Eleanor Flegg

NAME: Eleanor Flegg

BORN: Dublin

AGE: 34

MARITAL STATUS: Mother of 2 boys: Vanya (9) and Turlough (5). Separated, shares custody of children with husband

OCCUPATION: Editor, educational publishing company

MAIN EXPENSES: Food shopping, household bills (gas, electricity and phone), car and maintenance for her pony.
I definitely knew that wasn't the right rate of exchange, and it turns out the man who runs the shop doesn't have a clue about money.
I think I'll wait until I feel more comfortable with the currency before buying something I wouldn't normally.
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