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The Euro: No Big Meltdown

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Twelve European countries have had the euro as their official currency since January 1. And predictions of widespread panic, suspicion, and unacceptance of the new currency have not come true. Instead, things are going rather well, according to many European officials. The euro is trading well against the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen, and Europeans have accepted euros instead of francs, marks, and drachmas.

Denmark, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have not agreed to exchange their national money for the euro. The other 12 countries in the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain) now accept the euro.

The euro is both paper money and coins. The European countries are printing 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.

One German company, C&A, was fined a large amount of money for offering customers a discount if they paid with credit or debit cards--and not euros--during the switchover, which took place on January 1.

Despite this, the reaction in Europe and in the United States has been muted. Consumer confidence in both geographical areas is way up.

It's too early to tell whether the euro decision will be an excellent one; for now, we know that it wasn't an immediate failure.

 Graphics courtesy of ArtToday

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