Common currency of the eurozone, a currency union of 17 out of the 27 states of the European Union. Currency sign is €.
As of submission, €1 = approximately $1.50
Trade and import-export transactions within Europe and with other nations is much easier.
No more national currencies in the eurozone saves quite a bit of money for consumers and travelers, as well as businesses which engage in a high degree of cross-border business.
The pooled European capital of the euro currency has created a strong world reserve currency that could not have been achieved with the previous national currencies.
German (and to a lesser extent French) taxpayers find themselves perpetually bailing out countries with dysfunctional economies. See Greek Debt Crisis.
Not all nations in the Eurozone are equally wealthy or in a position to maintain healthy debt-to-GDP ratios over long periods. The interest rates set by the ECB are often favorable for wealthier eurozone countries but not for poorer ones. While some less-wealthy countries can't survive without a default, other less-wealthy countries muddle along with unhealthy but sort of manageable debt levels. The euro is not necessarily good for these countries, as they can't periodically devalue currency to improve their trade. Then again, their ability to trade without the losses of currency conversion highlights the benefits of a common currency.
My recent hostel stay in Italy cost €830 for three weeks. Good deal for an American? How about $1200. Damn you, Mr. Monopoly Man and your happy colored euro bills!
Prices shown in USD.
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