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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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Euro becomes cash currency
On 1 January 2002 the euro became a reality for 300m citizens of the 12 countries in the eurozone. The arrival of the euro as a cash currency may foster closer integration and greater price competition within the eurozone. It may also help boost its international role, as the doubts growver the stength of the dollar as the US economy continued to slow.
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