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Final day for people to exchange francs for euros

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(17 Feb 2012) SHOTLIST 1. Close-up of French franc notes being counted by person queuing outside the Bank of France to exchange them for euros 2. People queuing to change their francs into euros 3. Bank of France representative instructing customers on the exchange process 4. Long queue of people wanting to get into the bank to exchange francs for euros 5. Tilt-up of customer reading a book in queue 6. Poster affixed to exterior of the bank showing exchangeable bank notes 7.SOUNDBITE (French) Vox Pop, Rene Huot, Paris resident: "No they were in a drawer and I found them a few days ago and when I heard this morning that today was the last day to turn them in, I came this morning to do it." 8. Tilt down from Bank of France sign to queue 9. Mid of people queuing with signs behind giving instructions on the exchange process 10. SOUNDBITE (French) Vox pop, Micheline Leblanc, Retiree: "We are living a lot less well with the euro, especially when we have a modest salary and a small pension and by god we are really obliged to maintain a tight budget." 11. Wide interior of Bank of France with people queuing to exchange francs for euros 12. Bank Teller with franc notes of 500 (100 US dollars) and 200 (40 US dollars) 13. Close-up franc notes 14. Teller exchanging francs for euros 15. Customer putting euros into envelope after exchange 16. SOUNDBITE (French) Vox pop, Guisseppe Cambeto, Paris resident: "Three thousand euro (3,940 US dollars) - that's about 21-thousand francs, three thousand euro." 17. Customer Roger Mandrin (left) and others seated awaiting their turn to exchange francs 18. Cutaway of exchange taking place 19. SOUNDBITE (French) Vox pop, Roger Mandrin, Swiss native: "I had a few notes of 100 francs, not a big fortune, but this was the opportunity not to lose the money." 20. Mandrin receiving euros from bank teller 21. Mid of shredded franc notes wrapped in plastic with Bank of France Fiduciary Activities General Director, Henri Jullien, behind them 22. SOUNDBITE (French) Henri Jullien, General Director, Bank of France Fiduciary Activities: "It has been ten years that we've said that these bills won't be reimbursable for more than ten years. Since September we have done a lot of publicity. We will have around 50 to 60 (m) million bank notes reimbursed so the French state will recoup 550 (m) million euro (723 (m) million US dollars)." 23. Shredded franc notes wrapped in plastic STORYLINE: It's time to bid adieu to the franc. Six centuries after the first one was minted and a decade after they went out of circulation, the last French francs are being exchanged for euros, severing France's final link to its former national currency. The Bank of France set a deadline of the close of business Friday for French savers to exchange whatever leftover franc notes they've kept stacked away in drawers or under mattresses, whether held onto intentionally as souvenirs or simply forgotten about. The euro replaced the franc in wallets and purses in January 2002, but the central bank has continued to accept francs in exchange for euros until now. The franc's end comes as the euro suffers the worst crisis since its creation, and the once-taboo question of a eurozone break-up is now front page fodder. The euro is a daily reminder to more than 330 (m) million Europeans who use it of the dismal state of the economy in the 17-nation eurozone. While few Europeans are prepared to scrap the euro - in part because they fear a chaotic collapse more than the current muddle - some are nostalgic for the money they counted on before it arrived. Retiree Micheline Blanc, for example, says life was better and cheaper when the French franc was in circulation. You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/aa6a84f81abaa6befb50f273e93313cc Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork
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