At opening the money exhibition on December 23, 2001
Dear President, authors of the exhibition, ladies and gentlemen.
It is my honor and pleasure, and a true opportunity on the occasion of transition to Euro as the official means of payment in Montenegro, to be able to review with you here in Biljarda the history of money in Montenegro.
Everything that you will be able to see tonight in Biljarda, represents the confirmation of historic facts of our right to decide on type of money and its use by ourselves led by interests of citizens and the state of Montenegro.
The money was coined in Montenegro since the second century before new era. First in Risan, then in Mojkovac i.e. Brskovo, Bar, Ulcinj and Svac but also in Kotor and Budva.
Foreign money was used in Montenegro in some historic periods – greek stater, different Roman, Byzantium and Venice money, Turkish aspra, arslanija, grosh, Russian rublja, Austrian fiorim.
This exhibition may convince us that we used to have also our money in Montenegro. Djuradj I Balsic coined his own money with emblem of wolf chest and shield, and so was the case with Balsa II (Skadar dinar), Djuradj II, Konstantin Balsic, Balsa III. There are 11 types of money that there are records of, but not many of them were preserved.
At the idea of a banker Carl Rotshield, Petar II Petrovic Njegos prepared for the production of Montenegrin Perun of which today we have an offprint in red wax.
Before the issue of Princedom money i.e. Kingdom of Montenegro, we had in circulation Austrian fiorim, and afterwards circulation of crown on the golden backing and the foreign currency exchange rate established by the Ministry of Finance.
Montenegro as the sovereign and internationally recognized state, first as princedom, and later as kingdom, issued its own money Perper meaning sophisticated in Greek language There was total of eight issues of metal, silver and golden coins and three issues of paper money.
Metal, golden and silver money was coined in Vienna, except one issue of silver money that was coined in Paris. The author was Ilija Sobajic, and the engraver Stefan Svarc. Paper money was printed in Prague, Cetinje and Paris.
Although Perper was supported with the Montenegrin state property and represented the responsibility of Kingdom of Montenegro that was transferred to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, it was devaluated because, opposite to the real situation, 2 Perpers were exchanged for one dinar.
After that we had common currency – dinar on three occasions, that either failed along with the Kingdom of Yugoslavia or devaluated in the highest hyperinflation in the world in 1993, i.e. abandoned as of the adoption of the Law on the Central Bank after devaluation of 1-33 i.e. 3300%.
In 1999 we were at the crossroads of choosing the crucial decision that was adopted at that time, and a year afterwards the decision was embodied into legislation. We observed these past experiences and had in mind the future of the citizens and the State of Montenegro and opted for the currency of the United Europe whose part we want to be, convinced that it will not be changed in this century.
I would like to thank you for being here tonight and I invite you to see the exhibition.