Sunday

19th Jan 2020

ECB unveils new €5 note

  • Europa: 'Nobility, divinity, beauty and love stood at the cradle of our continent, but also violence' (Photo: ecb.int)

The European Central Bank (ECB) launched a new €5 note on Thursday (10 January) with a topical joke on the crisis and British euroscepticism.

The note features a watermark and a hologram of Europa - a Phoenician princess who lent her name to Europe and whose portrait was taken from a 2,400-year-old wine jug in The Louvre museum in Paris.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

ECB chief Mario Draghi signed a model of the bill at the unveiling ceremony in the archaeological museum in Frankfurt.

He said: "Over the years, euro banknotes have become the most visible symbol of European integration."

He added: "Despite the challenges facing the euro area ... I am confident that 2013 will bring about a deepening of economic and monetary union and will strengthen European integration."

His host, museum director Egon Warmes, noted that Emperor Charlemagne in the year 794 AD in Frankfurt launched the denarius - a silver coin that was used "from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the River Elbe in the east and from the northern seas to central Italy" and which was "the first, the primary euro."

He said King Offa in England also minted denarii, which he called pennies and which remained valid for 400 years.

With today's UK rejecting the euro and talking of leaving the EU, Warmes joked: "Thus, President Draghi, if you want to save the euro for more than 400 years, bring it to Britain."

The first Europa notes will arrive in banks and shops in May.

The ECB will print new versions of €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500 notes in the "next few" years. The old ones will circulate alongside, but will "eventually cease to be legal tender" on a date to be announced "well in advance."

In Greek mythology, the god Zeus fell in love with Europa and then kidnapped and raped her.

"You see - nobility, divinity, beauty and love stood at the cradle of our continent, but also violence," Warmes said.

Draghi opted for a cleaner version of the story, however.

"Let me thank you Professor Warmes for your kind words - you said that nobility, divinity, beauty and love [are] all to be found in our beautiful continent," he said.

Worst of euro crisis over, says German minister

Confident that France will "fulfil its obligations" and with Greece off the hook for now, Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schauble has cast a glimmer of hope for 2013.

New €5 note launched

ECB director Draghi handed out signed copies of the new €5 bank note on Thursday to a group of "euro children" who have grown up knowing only the euro.

Feature

Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

News in Brief

  1. 'No objection in principle' on Huawei cooperation, EU says
  2. French aircraft carrier goes to Middle East amid tensions
  3. EU suggests temporary ban on facial recognition
  4. EU industry cries foul on Chinese restrictions
  5. 'Devil in detail', EU warns on US-China trade deal
  6. Trump threatened EU-tariffs over Iran, Germany confirms
  7. EU trade commissioner warns UK of 'brinkmanship'
  8. Germany strikes coal phase-out deal

Feature

Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

Opinion

Why von der Leyen must put rights at core of business

Ursula von der Leyen's in-tray must include those European executives on trial for systematic workplace harassment, the break-up of European slavery rings, and allegations of European companies' abuse in palm oil, including child labour, land grabs, and deforestation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us