Wednesday, January 4, 2012

This Day in History January 4, 1999

I remember this, but I had no idea that it was on this day!  It was on this date in 1999 that Europe was united for the first time since Charlemagne's reign in the 800's with a single currency--the Euro.  Eleven European Union nations (representing about 290 million people) hoped for economic growth in their countries.  The countries that adopted this country were:  Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.  The currency that was replaced was: Austrian schilling, Belgian franc, Finnish markka, French franc, German mark, Italian lira, Irish punt, Luxembourg franc, Netherlands guilder, Portugal escudo and Spanish peseta.  There were also some territories and non-EU countries that adopted this new money as well--Monaco and Vatican City, to name a few.

There was controversy, as you can imagine.  I can certainly remember that on the news.  There were concerns about inflation, counterfeiting, and other chaotic issues.  Great Britain, Sweden, and Denmark opted out of this "Euro switch."  Greece became the twelfth nation to accept this new currency in January 2001.  Even more countries joined the EU in 2004:  Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

There are now 17 countries in the so-called Eurozone, and it looks like there are some issues coming for this currency this year.  I know I had heard about that on the news, too, and I don't know what it means for the future of this currency.  I guess we will see what the future holds!

For more information, please check out these sites:

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I hadn't realized that it had been so long since the euro started! I guess the economy just about everywhere is hurting in some way! Hopefully 2012 will be a great year for everyone!



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