EurActiv, January 2, 2012
No celebrations are due to take place as the euro marked its 10th anniversary, but leaders seized the occasion to call for reforms needed to strengthen the EU common currency.
Apart from releasing a commemorative 2-euro coin, no festivities were planned, European Commission spokesperson Olivier Bailly told reporters.
“The fact that there are no celebrations doesn’t mean that we are not proud of our single currency,” he said, adding that the euro is “one of the major achievements in Europe’s history”.
Thanks to the euro, inflation is below 2%, Bailly said, recalling that in the 1980s, interest rates for buying a house or a car were as high as 10%, while today they are “extremely low”. The absence of eurozone exchange rates saves between €20 billion and €25 billion every year, he said.
Introduced on 1 January 2002 amidst much fanfare, euro notes and coins replaced the national currencies of the first 11 members of the eurozone. Today 17 countries [including Estonia] are members of the eurozone.
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Eyes Turn To The Euro On Its 10th Anniversary