During decades the peseta had been the official coin in Spain, but at the beginning of 1999 a historical change took place with the euro arrival. The aim of this essay is to present a brief summary about the findings of our Oral History Project, which is focussed on analysing the change from the Peseta to the Euro between 20th and 21st centuries. Firstly, this essay presents the main objectives of the interviews. Next, it analyses the interview with the first narrator, named Esther. Then, it analyses the interview with the second narrator, named Maria del Carmen. Finally, it sums up the main results acquired thanks to the narrators.
Firstly, before of doing an interview it is very important to establish some objectives. For that reason, the topics of the interview were related to looking for a first general approach to the economic change from the Peseta to the Euro, examining its advantages and disadvantages, analysing how this change affected to Spanish citizens lifestyle, and also, investigating whether the value of the euro actually corresponds to the peseta’s one.
Secondly, the first narrator is named Esther, and she is 57 years old. In 2002, when the change took place, she was living in Madrid although she was born in Valladolid. She realized that elder people had more difficulties to adapt, and also they were still thinking in pesetas. On the one hand, she was astonished by the news. She compared the value of both coins and also, she had to do mathematical calculations in order to guess some prices. On the other hand, she was thankful to the change because she is a very traveller woman and when she went abroad she had not to change her money in order to can pay in other countries.
Thirdly, the second narrator is named Maria del Carmen, and she is 75 years old. In 2002, when the change took place, she was in Burgos where she was born some years ago. According to her, adaptation was so difficult because the value of the euro was not equivalent of the peseta’s one. Besides, she defends that it was a problem because of prices rising, while the salaries were frozen. Nowadays, she still thinks in pesetas not only when she has to buy important things but also in a daily shopping because sometimes she surprises of the high prices.
Finally, the narrators helped us to complete our project because they have lived during this economic transition, and they told us a lot of things about their experiences and anecdotes. Besides, both narrators still have some copies of coins in pesetas as a reminder of a good time.
To sum up, as we have seen, things were very different before the arrival of the euro. People felt comfortable with the peseta, and the change meant a problem for them, especially for the elderly. Fortunately, today most of the population is already accustomed to the euro, but there are some people that continue still thinking pesetas, they don’t want to forget it.