TIRANA, November 17
‘Just Lek. Neither old Nor New’ is a financial education campaign that hopes to permanently end the confusion surrounding the Albanian Lek. Many Albanians still speak in old Lek, which is confusing not only to foreigners but to fellow citizens too. Thus, the Bank of Albania (BoA) is taking action through a national educational campaign that was launched on Wednesday. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness among people to stop using the New and Old terms concerning Lek when carrying financial transactions.
In a few words, the goal of the multiyear campaign is to highlight that Lek is the official currency of Albania and that the nominal value is the actual value stated on a note or coin.
Governor Gent Sejko said that according to a survey conducted by BoA, half of the respondents misread or misidentify the value of Albanian Lek.
According to the BoA survey on the use of Old and New Lek terms, age, location, employment, education level, and income level are among the factors related to the way how people identify Lek.
Therefore, BoA and the main financial institution and under the recommendations issued by the parliament decided to start the campaign in cooperation with other institutions, including schools, universities, the media, commerce chambers, and other local institutions.
The issue with the old and new Lek
In Albania, you can buy o loaf of bread for Lek 100 (€0.82), but if the seller speaks in Old Lek, s/he would say that the loaf of bread costs one thousand Lek (but Lek 1000 equals €8.20). In such cases, they take for granted that the buyers know what they mean, which can be too confusing especially for foreigners. Also, in smaller cities it is common to write the price in Old Lek, for example, the written price for a 1kg bag of rice can be Lek 1500, while the real value is just Lek 150.
The Old and New Lek terms have been used for over 55 years, yet BoA seems dedicated to creating a new less-confusing mindset.
Read also: BoA Unveils Lek 10,000 Banknote
Source/Photo Credit: BoA