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Ten years after original decision, Euro a great success
Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill
BRUSSELS — EU Commissioner Joaquin Almunia (Monetary Affairs) acknowledges that much remains to be done to better control economic and budgetary issues, but is very pleased the way the Euro currency has developed. In a time of uncertainty, with rising food and energy costs, the European currency offers its market of 320 million people more protection. The decision to create the single currency was taken on June 2, 1998, just ten years ago. The currency was launched first for the banking sector on January 1, 1999 and became a public currency in twelve member states three years later. Fifteen member states are now exclusively using the Euro zone with more ready to join. The Euro is also widely used in a number of EU member states which are not part of the Euro zone. A problem remains the differences in economic growth and inflation rates between countries. The rate of inflation in the Netherlands is among the lowest in the EU, while in Slovenia it is above 6 percent.