What Was the Slovenian Tolar (SIT)?

SIT was the currency abbreviation for the Slovenian tolar, the official currency of Slovenia from October 1991 until December 2006. Slovenia joined the European Union (EU) in May 2004, and in January 2007 the country adopted the euro as legal tender.

Key Takeaways

  • The tolar was the national currency of Slovenia from its independence in 1991 through 2006.
  • In 2007, Slovenia switched to the euro as part of its responsibilities as a member of the European Union.
  • While tolar are no longer exchanged in circulation, old banknotes can be redeemed for euros at the Bank of Slovenia.

Understanding the Slovenian Tolar

One Slovenian tolar was made up of 100 stotinov. Different measure words were used to refer to varying amounts of the currency. For example 2 SIT were called 2 tolarja, while five or more SIT is referred to as tolarjev.

After Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 (at the time a protectorate of the Soviet Union), the tolar was introduced as the country's currency. It replaced the Yugoslav dinar at par. In 1991, the Bank of Slovenia issued notes that were circulated as a temporary currency, with the first banknotes of the tolar going into circulation the following September.

When Slovenia joined the European Monetary Union in January 2007, the tolar was replaced by the euro at a rate of 239.64 to 1. Denominations of the tolar came in coins and banknotes. Tolar notes, which are no longer used in circulation, can still be exchanged for euros at the Bank of Slovenia.

In 2019, Slovenia registered GDP growth of 3.18% with inflation at 1.63%, according to World Bank data.

The Tolar to the Euro

Before Slovenia could join the EU, it was required to fulfill "convergence criteria," also known as the "Maastricht criteria," which includes maintaining a stable exchange rate and a low and stable interest rate. To help the transition from the tolar to the euro and prevent unreasonable price increases, prices of good in Slovenia were displayed in both currencies between March 2006 and June 2007.

The euro is the official currency for 19 of the 27 EU member nations. Denominations of the euro include banknotes for 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros, as well as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins, and 1 and 2 euro coins. The adoption of a single currency eliminates fluctuating exchange rates and exchange costs, as well as simplifies trade between countries.

The European Central Bank (ECB), as well as the central banks of individual member countries, oversee the euro. The ECB, which aims to maintain price stability, supervises monetary policy and sets interest rates in the region.