Monday. 27.05.2024

The European Central Bank (ECB) is celebrating the anniversary of the introduction of euro cash 20 years ago with light shows at its headquarters in Frankfurt.

According to the ECB, an illumination on the facade of the central bank began at midnight on January 1.

"Inspired by Ludwig van Beethoven’s 'Prelude to the Ode to Joy,' the European anthem, the illumination will display a 'symphony' of light consisting of bars, lines and circles in blue and yellow, the colours of the European Union," it said in a statement.

"After that and until January 9, we will illuminate the building from 17:30 until 23:30 (local time) to display different messages about the euro in the 15 euro area languages."

At the turn of the year 2001-02, the euro was introduced in 12 European countries in the form of notes and coins. Even as the firecrackers were going off, queues were forming at cash machines.

Official currency

Today, the euro is the official currency for 340 million people in 19 EU countries.

As early as January 1, 1999, the currency became legal tender for 11 of the then 15 EU member states, but initially only electronically.

ECB celebrates 20 years of euro cash with light shows