Thursday, January 4, 2018

January 4th...This Day in History

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The euro debuts 1999


On this day in 1999, for the first time since Charlemagne’s reign in the ninth century, Europe is united with a common currency when the “euro” debuts as a financial unit in corporate and investment markets. Eleven European Union (EU) nations (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain), representing some 290 million people, launched the currency in the hopes of increasing European integration and economic growth. Closing at a robust 1.17 U.S. dollars on its first day, the euro promised to give the dollar a run for its money in the new global economy. Euro cash, decorated with architectural images, symbols of European unity and member-state motifs, went into circulation on January 1, 2002, replacing the Austrian schilling, Belgian franc, Finnish markka, French franc, German mark, Italian lira, Irish punt, Luxembourg franc, Netherlands guilder, Portugal escudo and Spanish peseta. A number of territories and non-EU nations including Monaco and Vatican City also adopted the euro.
Conversion to the euro wasn’t without controversy. Despite the practical benefits of a common currency that would make it easier to do business and travel throughout Europe, there were concerns that the changeover process would be costly and chaotic, encourage counterfeiting, lead to inflation and cause individual nations to loose control over their economic policies. Great Britain, Sweden and Demark opted not to use the euro. Greece, after initially being excluded for failing to meet all the required conditions, adopted the euro in January 2001, becoming the 12th member of the so-called eurozone.
The euro was established by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty on European Union, which spelled out specific economic requirements, including high degree of price stability and low inflation, which countries must meet before they can begin using the new money. The euro consists of 8 coins and 7 paper bills. The Frankfurt-based European Central Bank (ECB) manages the euro and sets interest rates and other monetary policies. In 2004, 10 more countries joined the EU—-Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Several of these countries plan to start using the euro in 2007, with the rest to follow in coming years.

 (More Events on This Day in History)
  • American Revolution

  • 1796 Congress accepts Colors of the French Republic
  • Automotive

  • 1996 GM announces its electric car
  • Civil War

  • 1863 Confederate General Roger Hanson dies
  • Cold War

  • 1950 The God That Failed published
  • Crime

  • 1964 Boston Strangler strikes again
  • Disaster

  • 1990 Trains collide in Pakistan
  • General Interest

  • 1896 Utah enters the Union
  • 1974 President Nixon refuses to hand over tapes
  • 1987 Segovia begins final U.S. tour
  • 1995 104th Congress under Republican control
  • Hollywood

  • 2003 National Society of Film Critics honors The Pianist
  • Literary

  • 1785 Jacob Grimm is born
  • 1965 Poet T.S. Eliot dies in London
  • Music

  • 1964 Bobby Vinton tops the pop charts with the last #1 single of the pre-Beatles era
  • Old West

  • 1847 Colt sells his first revolvers to the U.S. government
  • Presidential

  • 1965 L.B.J. envisions a Great Society in his State of the Union address
  • Sports

  • 2006 Vince Young leads Texas over USC in the Rose Bowl
  • Vietnam War

  • 1965 Johnson reaffirms commitment to South Vietnam
  • 1974 Thieu announces war has resumed
  • World War I

  • 1913 Alfred von Schlieffen dies
  • World War II

  • 1944 United States begins supplying guerrilla forces

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