Greek mythology looms large on new euro notes
THE EUROPEAN Central Bank (ECB) is printing new money as part of the battle against counterfeiting euro notes.
ECB chief Mario Draghi told a news conference last week that the current euro notes, launched on January 1, 2002, will be gradually withdrawn from circulation and replaced with new notes with even better security features.
“The European Central Bank and the national central banks of the euro system are to introduce a second series of euro banknotes. Called the 'Europa' series, it will include a portrait of Europa - a figure from Greek mythology and the origin of the name of our continent - in the watermark and the hologram,” AFP quoted Draghi saying.
“The new banknotes will be introduced gradually over several years, starting with the five-euro banknote in May 2013,” he added.
Until now, euro notes have been dominated by extremely uncontroversial windows and doors.
According to Bloomberg, Draghi gave an insight into the thinking behind the decorative changes to the notes.
“Portraits have long been used in banknotes around the world and research has shown that people tend to remember faces. Is there any better figure than Europa to serve as the new face of the euro?”
Europa, a Phoenician princess in Greek mythology, was abducted or seduced (depending on your outlook) by Greek god of gods Zeus, and whisked away to live her days in Crete.
The new banknotes will have the same colours and denominations as the current ones - €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500.
Europa will first appear on the €5 note in May, with other notes following in ascending order in the coming years.
Old notes will eventually cease to be legal tender, though they will still be exchangeable at any national central bank in the eurozone.