The Euro, currency of the European Union, was up to now used only between banks, stock exchanges, etc. For most people in the EU it was more or less a virtual currency that spoiled their US holidays because of ever dropping exchange rates.
All this is going to change on January 1st 2002. Twelve countries of the EU give up their national currencies and change to Euro. Participating are Belgium, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Finland and Germany.
To let people get used to the new coins, the national banks are passing out "starter kits" with a mixture of coins. I just got one today. I must say that I like the new look very much. I also like the idea of one currency in a united Europe.
In my opinion, we are just watching the next step in a historical line. Not long ago there were thousends of major and minor kingdoms in Europe as well as independent city states, all with their own currency. With the rise of national states there came national currencies. Now these states form the European Union. And this won't be the last step towards larger political unions.
In Germany it's at least the sixth currency reform within hundred years for the generation of my grandparents. The major difference now is that the money and private fortunes don't loose their value like before.
Many people are at least sceptical, though. Especially here in Germany we're giving up a respected and thrustworthy currency. In Greece they exchange one of the oldest currencies, the Drachme, that built one of the highest cultures and the foundation of modern Europe for the Euro. So there are lot's of emotions, too.
One reason because people don't trust the Euro are the inital losses against the dollar. In my opinion they are our own fault. If I was a foreign businessman, I wouldn't trust a currency that is not even accepted in its own countries. I think that this and all the other fears will be overcome in the next few months when people start to realise the advantages and the value of the Euro.
Since there are many Europeans on this boards from participating countries and as well from the ones that are members of the EU but choosed not to change to the Euro, what do you think about all this Euro stuff? And of course, what do people from other parts of the world think about this process of unifying Europe and what goes with it?
Just my two Euro cents :D
If you like more information or to take a look at the new money this is the site of the European Central Bank
I recently had to give this subject a lot of thought since we did a referendum in Denmark deciding whether we would jump on the Euro-train or not. At first I was a bit sceptical, since it is difficult to let go of your country's traditional currency, but in the end I vote yes! I believe that Denmark is so deeply involved in the EU that it is ridiculus not to go all the way and accept the monetarian union. Unfortunately the majority of the Danes did not agree with me (and - mind you - most of our politicians) so the result was a 'No'. I really don't remember how many was for and how many was against, but I do remember confronting some of my friends whith a question about why they voted against and I am a bit ashamed to say that maninly it was due to combination of an almost nationalistic attitude and a fear of letting go of the well-known.
Anyway, I know that we will see a lot of Euro i Denmark soon - especially from all the German tourist who travels to the beaches in the north-west part of Denmark during summer. It is my hope that over the time the Danes will get used to the new coins and will reconcider the issue for a new referendum in a year or two. After all the chance to make money is one thing that can make most Dane change their view upon allmost anything.. ;)
Originally posted by JJF
Anyway, I know that we will see a lot of Euro i Denmark soon - especially from all the German tourist who travels to the beaches in the north-west part of Denmark during summer.
Yes, and from all those Germans who attend certain Aikido Easter Camps!!... :D