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Introduction of the euro

Creation of a single currency among European countries: 11 countries in 1999, 19 countries in January 2015.

With the development of intra-European trade, the economies of each country became extremely sensitive to exchange rate variations. Against the backdrop of currency instability after 1971, some EEC countries first set up a set of mechanisms for limiting exchange rate fluctuations between them: the European Monetary Snake (1972) then the European Monetary System (1979). In order to promote intra-European trade and given the difficulties of maintaining fixed exchange rates in a context of free movement of capital, the objective of creating a single currency was laid down in the Maastricht Treaty signed in 1992. The euro was introduced, among 11 countries, on 1 January 1999 for bank accounts and financial products. Notes and coins were put into circulation in 2002. The euro area weathered a major crisis in 2010, but welcomed its 17th, 18th and 19th member country in 2011, 2014 and 2015.

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