So, that's it, we were yesterday able to get our hands, even though they were chilly ones, on the euro starter kits containing 2'000 pesetas worth of 43 euro coins. The response in Palma to the mobile Sa Nostra bank, the only place where the euro starter kits can be bought until the high street banks re-open tomorrow, was positive, and come closing time, over 1'000 people had purchased their starter kits. However, while there is no immediate need to purchase our euros - the single currency does not become legal tender until January 1 and we will have two months to get used to the euro - the vast majority of people who braved the cold to go in search of their starter kits were driven by curiosity. “After such a lengthy build up to the euro, I have to come down and see what all the fuss was about and have a look at the coins,” one elderly man said as he inspected his plastic bag of 12.02 euros in change. Some people appeared rather sceptical and confused as they inspected the different coloured coins which also weigh differently, depending on their value. The Balearic government's euro theme park, set up inside a huge marquee in plaza Bisbe Berenguer also pulled in the people. With your euro starter kit in your pocket, items can actually be bought at a number of virtual euro shops sets up inside the exhibition tent, so, like most money, the euro proves no exception, as soon as you've got your hands on it, it's gone. But while we can spend the next few weeks playing with our euros, shops and the commercial sector are having to get ready for euro trading from January 1. While we will have the option of paying in either euros or pesetas until March 1, all the change will be given in euros. It was announced yesterday that on mainland Spain, banks will be opening two per cent of their branches between 11am and 2pm on January 1, but whether financial institutions, apart from the Bank of Spain, in the Balearics intend to change their plans remains to be seen. Cash machines will however be distributing 10, 20 and 30 euro notes but not 200 and 400 euro notes.

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