Such was the massive demand for the euro starter kits at the banks in Majorca yesterday, that many had to restrict sales to one euro kit per person and also only to bank clients. Balearic bank Sa Nostra, which was the first to sell the kits in the Balearics, having set up a mobile unit in Palma over the weekend, said last night that during the course of trading yesterday, it sold 40'000 euro starter kits. “If demand continues at this rate, we'll have none left within a few days and many people will be left without one,” sources for the banking sector said. However, despite the massive level of demand, few people had to queue for their starter kits and all of the region's banks were well prepared for the first official day of euro trading. In some areas of Spain it was a different story. In Andalucia some banks had still not received their starter kits or did not have them on sale. All of the Balearics banks reported that euro starter kit trading had been “calm and orderly.” The Balearic government welcomed the positive response from the general public, adding that there are a total of 800'000 euro starter kits on sale in the region with over 250'000 in Majorca. But while the general public are having few problems in getting their hands on their euro starter kits, distributing euros to all the shops and commercial centres ahead of January 1 is proving to be a logistical nightmare for the Bank of Spain. A six to seven day delay in the release of euro coins and notes has put back the preparations of some areas of the commercial sector which are having to wait for their euros. The Bank of Spain is confident that by January 1, the day on which the euro will become legal tender, 65 per cent of all notes due for distribution will have reached their destinations. The secretary general of the Spanish Commercial Federation, Javier Millán, said yesterday that 100 per cent of the sector is ready for the arrival of the single currency and only a few minor alterations to computer equipment and programmes is being carried out.

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