Welcome to the Euro!

12/26/2001 – Good news: just a few more days and the baffling "deutschmark", liras and draculas will disappear. The whole of Europe is uniformly introducing the dollar as the common currency – but in order to preserve our self-dignity we call it the "Euro". This means that the Americans can at last buy our products without mathematical jugglings. You find out all about it here...

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Europe switches to the Euro

On the first of January 2002 the national currencies of most European Union member countries will becom the Euro. On that date new euro banknotes and coins will be introduced, while the existing banknotes and coins of national currencies will remain in circulation until the end of February 2002.

Not everyone in Western Europe is joining in. The participating countries are Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain and Portugal. Also included are Vatican City, the principalities of Andorra and Monaco, the republic of San Marino, and several island territories, such as the Azores (Portugal); Canary Islands (Spain); and France's Guadeloupe and Martinique islands in the Caribbean. Denmark, Sweden and Great Britain, did not introduce the euro.

This is what the Euro coins look like:

The number (or "tails") sides of the Euro coins are the same in every country, the same applies to the colour and the metals used. The "head" side is designed by each country in its own style:

The front of the coins show national symbols, such as the Celtic harp for Ireland or Queen Beatrix for the Netherlands. All coins, whatever the national face, will be accepted in all euro area countries. The notes are exactly the same throughout the euro area, using idealized images of windows and gateways on one side (to represent the opening of minds) and bridges on the other (to represent bringing of people together).


The new universal currency for Western Europe will make life much easier for tourists, who no longer have to wonder if 2500 Spanish potatoes or 500 Greek draculas is a lot for a cup of coffee. Americans will find it very easy to convert currencies, because the euro is very close in value to the dollar – about 1.1 euros to the dollar, i.e. the dollar is currently about 10% more valuable than the euro. Even the mathematically challenged should have no more problems making financial decisions.

These are the conversion rates from the European currencies:

=

Belgium 40.3399 BEF   Italy 1936.27 ITL
Germany 1.95583 DEM   Luxembourg 40.3399 LUF
Greece 340.750 GRD   Netherlands 2.20371 NLG
Spain 166.386 ESP   Austria 13.7603 ATS
France  6.55957 FRF   Portugal 200.482 PTE
Ireland 0.787564 IEP   Finland  5.94573 FIM
USA 91 cents  
1 US$ = Euro 1.1

For ChessBase products the prices in euros have become simpler:

  • Fritz and other chess programs cost Euro 50.08, they will soon be all rounded down ot Euro 49.99 (as is already the case with Shredder). For Americans this means that the programs cost around $45.

  • The ChessBase 8.0 Starter Package costs Euro 153.34, which is approximately $138.

  • Mega Database 2002 is Euro 154.90, Big Database 2002 is Euro 49.90 or almost exactly $45.

  • Trainings CDs are almost all Euro 25.51 or $23.


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