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  • Writer's pictureLaura Jones

What Currencies Did European Countries Use Before The Euro?

The Euro is now used by 19 countries throughout Europe, but what currencies did they use before?

Timeline for the adoption of the Euro

The European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is also known more casually as the eurozone, and consists of the 19 EU countries that have adopted the Euro as their currency.

This club started with 11 countries in 1999, followed by Greece in 2001, Slovenia in 2007, Malta and Cyprus in 2008, Slovakia in 2009, Estonia in 2011, Latvia in 2014 and Lithuania in 2015.

From 1999 to 2002, the Euro was only used for cashless transactions. However, once coins and notes were introduced in 2002, the Euro was used nation-wide, replacing the previously-used currency.


What currencies did the Euro replace?

Some of us might remember travelling throughout Europe last century, changing currencies as we went along, swapping the notes in our wallets at each border crossing. But, how many of those old currencies could you now name? Here they are, in order of replacement by the Euro:

Austria used the Austrian schilling, divided into 100 groschen.

Belgium used the Belgium franc, divided into 100 centimes.

Finland used the Finnish markka divided into 100 pennies.

France used the French franc, divided into 100 centimes.

Germany used the Deutschmark, divided into 100 pfennigs.

Ireland used the Irish pound (punt), divided into 100 pennies.

Italy used the Italian lira, divided into 100 centesimi.

Luxembourg used the Luxembourgish franc, divided into 100 centimes.

Netherlands used the Dutch guilder, divided into 100 cents.

Portugal used the Portuguese escudo, divided into 100 centavos.

Spain used the Spanish peseta, divided into 100 céntimos.

Greece used the Greek drachma, divided into 100 lepta.

Slovenia used the Slovenian tolar, divided into 100 stotinov.

Cyprus used the Cypriot pound, divided into 100 cents.

Malta used the Maltese lira, divided into 100 cents.

Slovakia used the Slovak koruna, divided into 100 haliers.

Estonia used the Estonian kroon, divided into 100 cents.

Latvia used the Latvian lats, divided into 100 santīmi.

Lithuania used the Lithuanian litas, divided into 100 centų.

All 19 of these countries now use the Euro, divided into 100 cents, which makes travelling around Europe a lot easier!

The currency pair Euro/US dollar (EURUSD) is now the most traded pair in the world, and although we can no longer trade the pre-Euro currencies, we still have plenty of choice, with far more currency pairs available than we could ever trade.

Looking for another way to trade currencies?

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