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Currency

Spain - Currency


Throughout its history, Spain has had several currencies. The escudo was in effect until 1869 when it was replaced by the peseta, which came about after Spain became part of the Latin Monetary Union the previous year. The Latin Monetary Union officially ended in 1927 and Spain later joined the Bretton Woods System, which linked the peseta to the dollar at a rate of 60 pesetas to 1 dollar. In 2002 the peseta gave way to the Euro and the rate given at the time was 1 euro for every 166 pesetas, although there was a transitional period of a few months when both currencies were in operation. In some rural areas, particularly among the older generation, prices were given in pesetas for some time to make the transition easier, but were converted and paid in Euros at the checkout.

The Euro is now the official currency of 13 countries and both of Spain’s close neighbours, France and Portugal, are using the currency. Banknotes are issued in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros and coins range from 1 cent up to 2 Euros. Each of the euro coins features a design from the country that minted it but these are interchangeable and can be used in any euro zone country.

The 1, 2 and 5 cent coins feature an image of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The 10, 20 and 50 cent coins all feature an image of the Spanish writer, Miguel de Cervantes. The 1 and 2 Euro coins feature King Juan Carlos I.

The exchange rates between the dollar and the euro and the pound and the euro have fluctuated a great deal and in recent years the rate has been weakened, with those travelling to the euro zone getting much less for their money than they used to.

The sign for the euro is € and the abbreviation for the currency is EUR. As the euro is a relatively new currency slang words are not really in use for the notes and coins, although there were some slang words for the peseta.


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