Embed Code

Is This the End of the Euro?

By January 1, 2002, 14.9 billion printed euros were introduced in “the world’s largest ever cash changeover,” along with around 52 billion coins. The cash printed was enough to cover 15,000 soccer fields. The initial mint served over 308 million people in 12 European countries – who was that 12th country to be added to the Eurozone, you ask? Greece. Today, the euro is humbled. EU countries are forced to confront the consequences of exuberant borrowing and spending by Greece. And the burden of distributing this debt through enormous bailouts have called into question the fate of the Euro itself. Check out the video to learn a little more about the Euro and the current crisis.


Video Transcript

An idea over 30 years in the making, the European single currency—more commonly known as “the euro”—was born out of the Maastricht Treaty, signed by European Union member states in 1992. Of the EU states to sign the Maastricht Treaty, only Great Britain and Denmark opted out of the currency, citing national interest and lack of popular approval. On January 1, 1999, the euro became the official “virtual” currency of 11 European states (Italy, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland, and Portugal); meanwhile, 15 printing presses around the continent started churning out new currency in anticipation of the euro’s official launch. By January 1, 2002, 14.9 billion printed euros were introduced in “the world’s largest ever cash changeover,” along with around 52 billion coins. The cash printed was enough to cover 15,000 soccer fields and the coins consumed over 250,000 tons of metal. The initial mint served over 308 million people in 12 European countries – who was that 12th country to be added to the Eurozone, you ask? Greece.

When it launched in January 2002, the euro was worth about 90 cents, but within a year, it surpassed the dollar in value and the European markets never looked back. Until now. Over the last 10 years, the Eurozone increased to 17 countries serving over 330 million people, but the fate of its currency remains in question. While former Soviet bloc countries like Estonia and Slovakia have prospered enough to join the Eurozone, the economic climate in Greece has rocked the euro to its core. With nearly one in every 4 Greeks unemployed and a 6-week old government trying to avoid default on a €3.2 billion debt, many economists have wondered if the Greece should be allowed to stay in the Eurozone. With similar financial worries cropping up in Spain, Ireland, and Portugal, others question if the euro will survive long enough to see its 20th birthday.



Recent Videos
  1. Why is Ikea a Non-profit?


  2. Why Getting a Job After Graduation is Going to be Harder Than Ever

    Category:

  3. How to Negotiate Like North Korea