13th May 2021

New €5 note launched

European Central Bank director Mario Draghi handed out signed copies of the new €5 bank note on Thursday (2 May) to a group of ‘euro children’ who have grown up only knowing the euro.

"The children who are here today are growing up in a continent of peace. They belong to the 'euro generation'," said Draghi.

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The ECB chief unveiled the new note in the Slovak capital, Bratislava. It marks the official launch of a second-generation bill with new security features aimed to help stamp out counterfeiting.

The series' central figure is Europa, a Phoenician princess abducted and then raped by Zeus disguised as a white bull. The story inspired the ancient Greeks to use ‘Europe’ to name the continent.

The princess is often depicted sitting on the bull but the note carries only her profile in a watermark and in a hologram.

The portrait was taken from a 2,000 year-old jug of wine found in southern Italy that is on display at the Louvre in Paris.

Both edges of the note have slightly raised lines to help the visually-impaired identify the denomination. The number on the note in the corner changes colour from emerald green to deep blue and a light effect moves up and down on the number.

The ‘bridges and door’ images on the notes remain but has been slightly modified.

The notes also now take into account the countries that have joined the EU since 2002.

The map on the bill shows Malta and Cyprus with ‘euro’ written in Cyrillic, Latin and Greek alphabets. ECB will also appear in nine linguistic variants instead of the previous five.

The old-€5 notes will continue to circulate with the new series for the next several months. The ECB expects the new generation note to outnumber the old by autumn.

The old notes will eventually no longer be legal tender but will always retain their value and can be exchanged for an unlimited period of time at any national central bank in the eurozone.

The ECB it will continue with the new series in ascending order of €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500 over the coming years.

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