The introduction of the euro as a currency on the world financial markets took place on January 1, 1999, but it was not until 2002 that it actually reached the pockets of citizens as physical currency.
The euro was the first major step towards European political integration, although it has behaved unevenly throughout its history.
These are the main dates of its introduction and evolution:
– 01/01/2002: The euro begins to physically circulate in 12 EU States: Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Finland and Greece.
– 01/07/2002: The banknotes and coins of the former independent systems of the countries of the euro zone are withdrawn from the European market.
– 01/01/2007: Slovenia adopts the euro as its official currency.
– 01/01/2008: Malta and Cyprus put the euro into circulation.
– 22/04/2008: The euro passes the barrier of 1.60 dollars in its intraday quotation, although it closes with an exchange rate of 1.5931 dollars, revitalized as a refuge value against the dollar, pressured by the financial crisis originated in the United States .
– 07/15/2008: The euro reaches historic highs against the dollar, at $1.5990 at the close of the session, just before the debt crisis hit the euro zone.
– 01/01/2009: Slovakia adopts the euro as its currency.
– 05/02/2010: EU launches first eurozone bailout, providing financial aid to Greece to avoid bankruptcy. Rescues followed in Ireland, Portugal, Cyprus and the Spanish banks.
– 01/01/2011: Estonia becomes the 17th country in the eurozone.
– 30/06/2011: The euro is made official in the principality of Andorra, a non-EU country.
– 01/01/2014: Latvia becomes the 18th country in the eurozone.
– 01/01/2015: Lithuania becomes the 19th country in the eurozone.
– 12/31/2015: The European currency fell 10.2% in 2015, a year marked by the third bailout of Greece.
– 01/01/2017: The euro celebrates 15 years approaching parity with the dollar, which had fallen in 2016 to the lowest level in 14 years (1.03 dollars per euro).
– 17/09/2018: The European Central Bank (ECB) presents the new €100 and €200 banknotes of the Europa series, which no longer include the €500 banknote to avoid facilitating illegal activities.
– 31/12/2020: After years of intense fluctuations, the exchange rate of the euro against the dollar stabilizes in 2020 in a range between 1.1 and 1.2.
– 12/27/2021: The euro is quoted at 1.1313 dollars and 2021 is expected to end as the worst in six years, with a drop of more than 7%, due to the trend of appreciation of the American currency.
– 01/01/2022: The euro, the most tangible achievement of the community project, celebrates its 20th anniversary since its introduction.
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