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• The Euro

As of January 1, 2000 the European union has initiated the circulation of the “Euro-dollar”. Currently the members of European Union are accepting both their old national currency and the new “Euro” (conversion rates fluctuate on a daily basis just like foreign currency). The value of the “Euro” is based on the country’s current currency value (i.e. 1 Euro = 1936.27 lire). The dual currency acceptance period will end Feb 28, 2002 when only the “Euro” will be accepted.

• Euro Coins

There are 8 euro coins denominated in 2 and 1 euros, then 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cent. Every euro coin will carry a common European face. On the obverse, each Member State will decorate the coins with their own motifs. No matter which motif is on the coins they can be used anywhere inside the 12 Member States. For example, a French citizen will be able to buy a hot dog 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 European flag. 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. Final designs were agreed at the European Council meeting in Amsterdam in June 1997.

• Euro Notes

There are 7 euro notes. In different colours and sizes they are denominated in 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 euros. The notes will be uniform throughout the euro area; unlike coins, they will have no national side. 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. Final designs were announced in December 1996 at the Dublin, European Council. All notes will carry advanced security features. All euro notes are legal tender in all countries of the euro area.

For more info: The EU Online


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