On Jan. 1, 2002, 300 million people in 12 European countries ditched their old coins and bills and switched to the euro. This weblog kept track of the quirky human side of this gloriously epic yet tediously mundane transition, with correspondents in ten countries sharing their experiences.
Your hosts were David F. Gallagher, an American journalist living and working in Milan, Italy, and Joyce-Ann Gatsoulis, an American journalist living and working in Athens, Greece.
Andreas Purkott is a German graphic designer living and working near Heidelberg, Germany.
Graham Spencer, a.k.a. Graybo, runs a small nursery and event management business in Chichester, England, where he also lives.
Sue Kane, a.k.a. pseudo morph, is an American who has lived in the Dutch province of Brabant for 18 years.
Angelo Pisano, a lawyer and the head of a consumer rights lobby, complained that “frequent handling of the copper-colored 1- and 2-cent coins turns them and human hands black.” He urged Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti to either pull the copper-colored coins out of circulation or replace them with new ones made of different metal. “I’m sure the government doesn’t want us to spend all our time shining up our money,” Mr. Pisano said.
The Catalan daily El Periodico reported Thursday that the owner of a bar in northern Spain found five of the [Thai] coins recently when he emptied his automatic cigarette machine.
"How could the European Union have made such a mistake?" asked Alejandro Diaz, the manager of the bar in the community of Mollet. "This problem could have serious repercussions for millions of machines in operation in Europe."
Sorry for the missing updates from Germany but everything seems to work out fine.
The only concern is that prices will increase. And they did! At least in restaurants and cafes. Most of them didn't changed their menu for years. So the introduction of the euro was a elegant way for them to raise prices. They had to print new cards anyway.
Two thirds of Europeans can't type the euro symbol (article in Spanish) on their keyboards. Logitech, a keyboard manufacturer, conducted a report in thirteen countries.
69% of Spaniards can't get the euro symbol to display on their monitors. The Swedes have the least problems as 60% of users claim to know how to use the symbol. The Danish are the least prepared; 83% don't get the € symbol.
Depending on the user's operating system, the euro symbol can usually be obtained by keying the letter 'E' while having the 'Alt Gr' button depressed.
Just came back from a trip to China. I tried to change my yuans at the airport into euros, but only got one fifty-euro-bill and an arrangement of yuans. The people at the airport didn't have any smaller bills, so now I'm stuck with yuans worth for around 30 euros which I can neither use nor change conveniantly.