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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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Central Bank intervention
After just 20 months the euro had lost nearly 30% in value against the dollar. The European Central Bank and other central banks finally joined forces to boost its value. The move helped put a floor under the euro - but it has still not recovered its value. A weak euro helped European exports, but undermined the credibility of the currency and fueled inflationary pressures.
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