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
• 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.
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