Euro is the currency (money) of the countries in the eurozone. One euro is divided into 100 cent (officially) (singular) or "cents" (unofficially). Because of the number of different languages in the European Union, there are different, unofficial, names for this unit (the French call them "centimes" and the Spanish "céntimos", for example).
It was created in 1999, but until 1 January 2002 it was used only for electronic payments. In 2002, 12 countries of the European Union (EU) got rid of their national currencies completely and adopted euro notes and coins as their only money. There was a change-over period, called the "transition period", when both the old national money and the euro were accepted, but by 28 February 2002, all 12 countries were using just euros.
In 2007, Slovenia became the 13th country to use the euro. In 2008 Cyprus and Malta became the 14th and 15 countries to use the euro. In 2009 Slovakia became the 16th country to use the euro. In 2011 Estonia became the 17th country to use the euro.
There are seven different banknotes, each one with a different colour, size and face value: €5 (grey), €10 (red), €20 (blue), €50 (orange), €100 (green), €200 (yellow), €500 (purple).
Coins are of eight different amounts: €0.01, €0.02, €0.05, €0.10, €0.20, €0.50, €1, €2.
On every banknote, there is a picture of a different European building style. All banknotes are the same throughout the entire eurozone - there are no different designs for different countries, unlike the euro coins. One side of each coin is the same in all euro countries. The other side is different since each country who mints the coins inserts a symbol relating to that country. Today there are 12 different sets of coins. Any of the coins can be used everywhere throughout the eurozone despite the country-specific symbol on the back.
Symbol[change | edit source]
The symbol for the euro is the Greek letter epsilon (E) with two horizontal lines: €.
Some people see it as the Latin capital letter C with an equal sign (=).
It is also legal to simply write euro. This is especially useful when the symbol cannot be produced, or the result is not satisfactory.
Members of the eurozone are:
- The Netherlands
Even though they are not part of the EU, the euro is also the currency used in:
The countries above form the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).
Many other countries' currencies are "pegged" (tied) to, although not exactly equal to, the euro:
- Cape Verdean escudo
- Comoros franc
- Central African CFA franc
- West African CFA franc
- France's Pacific territories CFP Franc
- Bosnia-Herzegovinan convertible mark
- Morocco dirham
- Bulgarian lev
- Hungary forint
- Denmark krone
- Lithuania litas
- Latvian lat
Other websites[change | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Euro|
References[change | edit source]
- European Central Bank website terminology
- "European Central Bank, Covergence report May 2007" (PDF). http://www.ecb.int/pub/pdf/conrep/cr200705en.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-29. "The euro is the single currency of the Member States that have adopted it. To make this singleness apparent, Community law requires a single spelling of the word euro in the nominative singular case in all Community and national legislative provisions, taking into account the existence of different alphabets."