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The Euro: Europe Unites Its Currency!

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Europe is uniting its monetary system in 2002 after years of planning and coordination. The new Euro replaces all the currency in circulation within the 12 countries of the European Union. The 12 countries are: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. The change occurred January 1st, 2002. The Euro coins include: 2 Euro, 1 Euro, 50 cent, 20 cent, 10 cent, 5 cent, 2 cent, and 1 cent. Europeans were given starter coin packs and are now in the process of exchanging their old currency for the new Euro.

There is a common obverse for all European coins, it includes a stylized map of Europe, the European stars and the denomination amount. The reverse of all the coins will be struck with designs chosen by the issuing government. This will preserve the national coinage of each member country while still achieving the goal of a unified currency, with common denominations and a fixed exchange rate between countries.

Monaco, Saint Marin and the Vatican will also utilize the Euro.

The common obverse of the coins:

Coin photos copyrighted by the European Commission on behalf of member countries.

The official symbol for the Euro: 

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