Welcome to uroland.
While most Europeans were popping champing corks and kissing strangers
from the Eiffel Tower to the Brandenburg Gate, their bankers were hard at work as the New
Work began when the US markets closed for 1988 at about 11pm
London time; already 1999 in Helsinki and the
fireworks were about to start in Germany and France.
The real countdown was only beginning - the Londoners had until late
Sunday evening, when the markets opened in Asia; first Sydney, and then Tokyo.
By the time dawn reached London on Monday January 4th, 1999 the euro
would already be trading on the world's markets.
England wasn't even in the so-called eurozone, but the euro was zoning
uro - The Currency of Europe
There are 7 euro notes. In different colours and sizes they are denominated in 500, 200,
100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 euros. The designs are symbolic for Europe's architectural heritage.
They do not represent any existing monuments.
Windows and gateways dominate the front side of each banknote as
symbols of the spirit of openness and cooperation in the EU.
The reverse side of each banknote features a bridge from a particular
age, a metaphor for communication among the people of Europe and between Europe and the
rest of the world.
There are 8 euro coins denominated in 2 and 1 euros, then 50, 20, 10,
5, 2 and 1 cents.
Every euro coin holds a common European face.
On the obverse, each Member State decorates the coins with their own
motifs. No matter which motif is on the coins they can be used anywhere inside the Member
States. For example, a French citizen will be able to buy a Bratwurst in Berlin using a
euro coin carrying the imprint of the King of Spain.
The common European face of the coins represents a map of the European
Union against a background of transverse lines to which are attached the stars of the
The 1, 2 and 5 cent coins put emphasis on Europe's place in the world
while the 10, 20 and 50 present the Union as a gathering of nations.
The 1 and 2 euro coins depict Europe without frontiers.
The graphic symbol for the euro looks like an E with two clearly
marked, horizontal parallel lines across it.
This was inspired by the Greek letter epsilon, in reference to the
cradle of European civilisation and to the first letter of the word 'Europe'. The parallel
lines represent the stability of the euro.
The European Union has its own flag, its own anthem and celebrates Europe Day on 9th May.
27 Member States of the EU
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands,
Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
Joined on 1st May, 2004:
Cyprus, Czech Republic,
Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia.
Joined on 1st January, 2007:
EU Candidate Countries
Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey.
Other European Countries
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus,
Iceland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Moldova,
Norway, Russia, San Marino, Serbia,
Vatican City State.
16 Member States of the European Union now use the euro as their
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland,
Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain.
For nostalgia's sake, the former currencies (and exchange rate to
1 euro) of these countries were.
Austrian schilling (13.7603), Belgian franc (40.3399), Cypriot pound
(0.585274), Dutch guilder (2.20371), Finnish markka (5.94573), French franc (6.55957),
German mark (1.95583), Greek drachma (340.75), Irish pound (0.787564), Italian lira
(1,936.27), Luxembourgian franc (40.3399), Maltese lira (0.4293), Portuguese escudo
(200.482), Slovak koruna (30.126), Slovenian tolar (239.64), Spanish peseta (166.386).
Also Using The Euro
The euro is also the sole currency of Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco,
Montenegro, San Marino and Vatican City.
The most recent members to the Eurozone were Cyprus, Malta and Slovakia.
The official site of the European Union, in all languages of its member states.
Jobs in Europe:
Information on jobs and learning opportunities throughout Europe job vacancies in 31
European countries, CVs from interested candidates, information about living and working
abroad - on the EURES network.
The Guardian's ongoing coverage includes news, comment and analysis about the euro, with
background and historical material including yes and no campaigns.
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