Many of us know that the US dollar is the most powerful currency in the world, but do you know which is the second most traded form of money that is exchanged globally after the US dollar? Well, it’s the Euro. It is the official currency of the member Eurozone which is basically a nickname for the countries in Europe that come under those sharing the same currencies. It is administered by the famously known EU. Let’s find out which countries fall in the category of the Eurozone that share the currency.
List of Countries Sharing Euro as their Currency
Even though Andorra uses Euro officially, they are not technically part of its zone. The special relationship of Andorra with the EU zone allows them to use it as their medium of exchange without being part of the zone. The country was also allowed to mint and issue the coins as a part of their monetary agreement.
After Austria became a part of the EU, there had been many advantages to the country such as increase in jobs, increase in foreign direct investment and an overall rise in the country’s overall GDP. It has been more than 20 years to Austria since it has used Euro officially and enjoyed several benefits that came with it but in return Austria is obliged to adopt the regulations of EU like any other country.
Before the currency was introduced in Belgium, the former one that was used there was the Belgium Franc. Currently, Belgian is using coins that have a single design for all 8 types of coins that they have; the design consists of the portrait of the King of the Belgians. The new form of notes and coins in Belgian were used in 2002 but the first set of coins that was minted there was done in 1999.
The British introduced the pound sterling in Cyprus which was later replaced by the Euro as an official mode of exchange in 2008. Currently, it can be said that in no time Cyprus may be out of the EU due to the fact that the economy of the country is going through the Depression phase and its real GDP may fall by over 20% in the next few years which may lead to collapse (theatlantic.com, 2013).
France is one of those countries among the rest which joined the Economic and Monetary Union making Euro as a part of their official single form of exchange. French Franc was used in France until the introduction of euro in 1999 for accounting purposes that was fully in circulation in the country by 2002 for banknotes and coins.
Germany, the economic powerhouse of the world changed its currency from the Deutsch Mark in 1999 virtually and in full circulation by 2002 like other countries. Germany is that country which can either make or break the Eurozone as it is one of the largest economies in the zone (knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu, 2015). Even though it is not the only country that is doing the best in terms of economy but it is still one of those countries that have a lot of power in EU.
Greece is one of those countries that have always been the hot topic when it comes to the EU. Currently, rumors are there which state that Greece might withdraw from being a part of the EU to deal with its debt crisis. The potential exit of Greece from using the euro as their currency is famously known as “Grexit”. The legal introduction, however, took place in 2002 but the current economic crisis show that it might not be able to suffer in the Eurozone.
Like most of the Western Europe, Italy now also uses Euro formally. Earlier, they used Lira. Did you know that Italy’s coins have different designs for different denomination of coins? Basically, there is a common theme of famous Italian works by the renowned artists of Italy. An interesting fact about the designs of the coins is that the choice of the designs of the coins was left with the general public by means of a television broadcast where several designs were presented which the people had to call in to vote at a certain telephone number.
Before the euro was introduced in Portugal, the national currency that was used there was the Escudo. Since it has been introduced in Portugal, it has made it a worry free destination for the Europeans to visit due to the single currency factor when it comes to money matters (golibson). Coins and bank notes can easily be exchanged in Portugal by the ATMS that are available from the largest towns to the smallest villages.
Like other European countries, Spain also adopted euro as their national currency to make travelling easier between the countries. Prior to it, the former mdoe of exchange used there were the Spanish Real, Spanish Peseta and Spanish Escudo (donquijote) . Spain was the fourth largest economy in the Eurozone and when it became part of this zone, it generated a great increase in the foreign direct investments in the country and market liberation in the economy. Initially, Spain had an above average GDP per annum but after the global financial crisis, Spain lost its position in the EU and had the highest unemployment rate.
|Andorra||Spanish Peseta / French Franc||–|
|Austria||Schilling||€1 = 13.7603 AST|
|Belgium||Belgian Franc||€1 = 40.3399 BEF|
|Cyprus||Cypriot Pound||€1 = 0.585274 CYP|
|France||French Franc||€1 = 6.55957 FRF|
|Germany||Deutsche Mark||€1 = 1.95583 DEM|
|Greece||Greek Drachma||€1 = 340.750 GRD|
|Italy||Lira||€1 = 1936.27 ITL|
|Portugal||Escudo||€1 = 200.482 PTE|
|Spain||Peseta||€1 = 166.386 ESP|
Today, euro is one of the most powerful currencies after the US dollar used by 320 million Europeans and several countries. It is the second largest traded form of exchange as well as reserve currency after the US dollar. It is officially administered and managed by the European Central Bank. The reason why many countries chose to adopt the single form is stable prices, integrated financial markets and most of all acceptability in many countries which makes it easier for the general public.