The ECB lights up to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the euro | News | DW

The European Central Bank (ECB) opened the celebrations for the twentieth anniversary of the introduction of the liquid euro with a light show at its headquarters. The Frankfurt building was illuminated at midnight on January 1 and will be illuminated every night until January 9, 2022.

Euro information will be displayed in 15 European languages ​​until January 9 from 5.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. CET.

“Obviously, Europe and the euro have become inseparable. And for young Europeans, who have only ever known the single currency, it must be almost impossible to imagine Europe without it,” wrote ECB Director Christine Lagarde in a blog post.

Two decades of euro

The euro is the second most widely used currency in the world, after the US dollar. It represents 20% of global foreign exchange reserves against 60% for the US greenback.

Its various red, blue and orange notes present illustrations of generic Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance architectures typical of the continent. In December, the ECB announced a rating overhaul, which is expected to roll out in 2024.

The euro first became legal electronic currency in 1999, for 11 of the 15 Member States at the time.

“It is fair to say that the euro has had a turbulent first decade,” members of the Eurogroup of finance ministers said in a joint article.

The euro had faced a debt crisis that started in Greece and spread to other countries. Aside from Greece, bailouts were given to Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus. Austerity measures were imposed in return on these economies.

During the economic crisis created by the pandemic, countries rolled out huge stimulus programs. The ECB has rolled out a massive bond buying program to keep borrowing costs low and boost economic growth.

“He has proven himself to face big challenges and big crises”, declared Irish Minister of Finance and President of the Eurogroup Paschal Donohoe.

tg / rc (dpa, AFP)

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