Tuesday, January 17, 2006


The euro (symbol: €; banking code: EUR) is the currency of twelve European Union member states: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain, collectively known as the Eurozone. The euro is the result of the most significant monetary reform in Europe since the Roman Empire. Although the euro can be seen simply as a mechanism for perfecting the Single European Market, facilitating free trade among the members of the Eurozone, it is also regarded by its founders as a key part of the project of European political integration.
Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City, which formerly used the French franc or the Italian lira as their currency, now use the euro as their currency and are licensed to mint their own euro coins in small amounts, even though they are not EU states. The euro is also used for payment of debt in other European non-EU jurisdictions such as Montenegro, Kosovo and Andorra.
The euro is administered by the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), composed of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Eurozone central banks operating in member states. The ECB (headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany) has sole authority to set monetary policy; the other members of the ESCB participate in the printing, minting and distribution of notes and coins, and the operation of the Eurozone payment system. florida discount health care san fransisco shuttletours cheap spanish holiday