in use in the greater part of the European Union
2nd, 2002. Adopted on that date by a core group
of twelve countries
, the Netherlands
, the Republic of Ireland
. The Euro has been adopted more recently by Slovenia
, and subsequently (and jointly) by Malta
. It is therefore a single currency for some 317 million Europeans
, or more than the total population of the United States
is set to adopt the Euro at the start of 2009, followed by Lithuania
a year later and Estonia
at the start of 2011, with other mainly eastern European states following not too long afterwards.
Coins in the currency are marked on one side with a representation of Europe (or the globe on copper coins) and on the obverse
with a national design that varies between countries and often between denomination
s within a country; all versions are of course legal tender
within the Euro zone
. 1, 2 and 5 cent coins are of copper plated steel. 10, 20 and 50 cent coins are of an alloy known as Nordic Gold for its colour but in fact are gold free. 1 Euro coins have are two-toned, with a cupronickel centre and a surrounding nickel brass ring, a design reversed on the 2 Euro coin.
Bank notes are standardised across the Euro zone and feature representations of different style
s of window
s and bridge
s symbolic of the openness
of the unifying European culture, with more modern architectural
styles represented on higher denomination notes.
The Euro started off within a cent of parity with the US dollar; the exchange rate at the time of writing is approaching one Euro to one US dollar and fifty cents. Various countries in the Far East
have expressed a preference for the Euro over the dollar as a unit of international currency.
This lager costs five Euro and is way too expensive.