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History of the Euro
The euro was launched on 1 January 1999 as an electronic currency and became legal tender on 1 January 2002, but attempts to create a single currency go back 20 years. This chart shows the value of the euro (before 1999 as a basket of the 11 legacy currencies) against the US dollar.
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Asian crisis
The turbulence in the Asian currency markets began in July 1997 in Thailand and quickly spread throughout the main Asian economies, eventually reaching economies as far away as Russia and Brazil. Foreign lenders withdrew their funds amid fears of a global financial meltdown, and the dollar strengthened. Many EU countries were struggling to cut their budget deficits to meet the criteria for euro membership.
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