The Euro


A Brief History of the Euro (EUR)

The euro was officially adopted on 16 December 1995 and introduced as an account currency on Jan 1, 1999. The euro remains the world’s most recently created major currency. It is the official currency of the Eurozone, which consists of 17 countries from the 27 member nations. These are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. Initially only 11 countries replaced their currencies with the euro (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain). Greece followed suit in 2001, Slovenia in 2007, Malta and Cyprus in 2008, and Slovakia in 2009. On January 1, 2014, the Latvian Lats will also be replaced by the Euro.

The Euro in the Global Foreign Exchange Market

The euro ranks second (behind the US dollar) among the most actively traded currencies in the foreign exchange market, accounting for 39.1% of the daily foreign exchange market trading volume. It is also the world’s second largest reserve currency (again, behind the US dollar).

The Euro trades most actively against the US Dollar as the base currency in the EUR/USD currency pair. This pair is known as ‘Euro Dollar’.

As at March 2013, the euro had the highest combination of notes and coins (€920 billion) in circulation throughout the world –surpassing the US dollar.

In recent years the euro has been in turmoil with the European sovereign-debt crisis making regular headlines throughout the world.

Fact Table:

Currency Name: Euro
Nicknames: Ege (Finnish), Leru (Spanish), Yoyo (Irish English), Teuro (German)
Currency Code: EUR
Currency Symbol:
Central Bank: European Central Bank
Countries Used In: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
Major Unit: One euro
Minor Unit: 1/100 = Cent
Note Denominations: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500
Coin Denominations: 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1 and €2.

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