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this page last updated:: Fri 23 Feb 2018

Euro

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Description:

The Euro is the official currency of 18 Eurozone countries. The currency is managed by the European Central Bank (ECB) based in Frankfurt in collaboration with the Eurosystem. Despite being a modern currency, it is already the second largest reserve currency and second most traded in the world. The Euro coins come in denominations of 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1 and €2. Euro banknotes are available as €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500. All Euro coins have a common side which shows the amount and a map of Europe. On the reverse, each country has their own variation which represents their culture. Despite these differences, all Euro coins are valid in all Eurozone countries. The Euro banknotes are the same on both sides in all Eurozone countries. They were designed by an Austrian, Robert Kalina, and each denomination has its own color and represents a historic period of European architecture with windows and gates on the front and bridges on the reverse.

There are currently over 951 billion Euros in circulation. This is more than any other currency in the world. Two European countries, Denmark and the United Kingdom, do not yet use the Euro currency. France was the first country to produce Euro coins. Before the introduction of the Euro currency, Italy did not use coins as the lowest banknote was 1000 Lira which was equal to 0.5 Euro.

Origin:

The Maastricht Treaty was introduced in 1992. This laid out the conditions of the Euro as a currency and the rules by which countries adopting the Euro would have to obey. The name “Euro” was then decided upon in 1995 and in 1999 the Euro was introduced to the financial markets. Euro coins and banknotes were first distributed to the 11 participating European countries on 1 January 2002.

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