On this day in 1999, for the first time since Charlemagne’s reign in the ninth century, Europe is united with a common currency when the “euro” debuts as a financial unit in corporate and investment markets. Eleven European Union (EU) nations (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain), representing some 290 million people, launched the currency in the hopes of increasing European integration and economic growth. Closing at a robust 1.17 U.S. dollars on its first day, the euro promised to give the dollar a run for its money in the new global economy. Euro cash, decorated with architectural images, symbols of European unity and member-state motifs, on January 1 went into circulation, 2002, changing the Austrian schilling, Belgian franc, Finnish markka, French franc, German tag, Italian lira, Irish punt, Luxembourg franc, Netherlands guilder, Portugal escudo and Spanish peseta. A genuine amount of territories and non-EU nations including Monaco and Vatican City also adopted the euro.
Transformation to the euro wasn’t without controversy. Regardless of the practical advantages of a common money that could make it simpler to conduct business and travel throughout European countries, there have been concerns that the changeover process would be chaotic and costly, encourage counterfeiting, business lead to inflation and cause specific countries to loose control over their financial policies. THE UK, Demark and sweden opted never to use the euro. Greece, after being excluded for failing to meet all the required conditions initially, in January 2001 used the euro, becoming the 12th person in the so-called eurozone.
The euro was established by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty on EU, which spelled out specific financial requirements, including high amount of price stability and low inflation, which countries must meet before they can start using the new money. The euro includes 8 cash and 7 paper expenses. The Frankfurt-based Western Central Standard bank (ECB) manages the euro and models rates of interest and other financial plans. In 2004, 10 more countries became a member of the EU–Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and slovakia. Several of these national countries plan to begin using the euro in 2007, with the others to check out in coming years.