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The Euro: Europe's New Money

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• Part 2: What's the Big Deal?

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Part 1: What's a Euro?

Starting January 1, 2002, most European countries will have new money. It's called the euro. It will be accepted in place of the national money of 12 European countries.

The European Union, an economic organization designed to promote trade within Europe, has 15 members, 12 of which will accept the euro: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

Denmark, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have not agreed to exchange their national money for the euro.

The euro will be both paper money and coins. The European countries will print 7 values of euro notes and 8 values of euro coins. You can get a euro note worth 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or 500 euros. You can get a euro coin worth 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 euro cents. You can even get a 1-euro coin or a 2-euro coin.

Many countries will still accept their traditional money but only for a few days.

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