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The euro turns 20

For ordinary citizens, little changed until cash euros were introduced in 2002

Daniel Gros

Twenty years ago this month, the euro was born. For ordinary citizens, little changed until cash euros were introduced in 2002. But in January 1999, the “third stage” of Economic and Monetary Union officially started, with the exchange rates among the original 11 eurozone member states “irrevocably” fixed, and authority over their monetary policy transferred to the new European Central Bank. What has unfolded since then holds important lessons for the future. In 1999, conventional wisdom held that Germany would incur the biggest losses from the euro’s ...