On 1st January 2002 the Euro will become legal tender. So-called
starter kits containing the equivalent of DM 20 will be available from
banks and savings banks as early as 17th December, offering consumers
the chance to familiarize themselves with the new coins in advance. These
coins can be accepted by the retail trade only in the New Year.
Since the beginning of September it has been possible to take Euro notes
and coins from so-called sub-frontloading holdings for educational
if an assurance is given not to put this money into circulation yet. Any
infringements will be subject to penalties imposed by the Central Bank
amounting to 8 per cent of the sub-frontloading sum.
At the beginning of November the press was already reporting on the first
attempts to pay with genuine Euro cash in the Hamburg area. Now the
first junk mail with genuine Euro cents have turned up. Putting even these
„lucky pennies“ into circulation is an infringement of the sub-frontloading
conditions and can attract considerable fines.