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The new euro banknotes (and coins) has replaced the national currencies of twelve states of the Economic and Monetary Union as of 1st of Januray 2002: Belgium (Belgian Frank), Finland (Finnish Mark), France (French Franc), Greece (Greek Drachma), Netherlands (Dutch Gulden), Ireland (Irish Pound), Luxembourg (Luxembourg Franc), Germany (German Mark), Portugal (Portuguese Escudo), Austria (Austrian Schilling), Spain (Spanish Peseta) and Italy (Italian Lira). As of 1st of January 2007 euro replaced the national currency in Slovenia (Slovenia Tolar). As of 1st of January 2008 euro is being used in Cyprus (Cyprus Pound) and in Malta ( Maltan Lira) and from 1st January 2009 in Slovakia (Slovakian Crown).
The banknotes, designed by Austrian artist Robert Kalina , have the same design for all entered states. The banknotes in the nominal value of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 EUR show the architectonic design inspired by „ centuries and styles of Europe”. Displayed designs do not represent any particular architectural monument, but characteristic features of different architectonic styles in form of windows, gates and bridges.
Windows and gates displayed on front side of the banknotes are the symbols of European spirit of openness and cooperation. Twelve stars of European Union describes dynamics and harmony of nowdays Europe. The bridges on the back side symbolize the communication between nations and between Europe and rest of the world.
Other features of the graphical proposal are:
- The name of the currency – euro- latin alphabeth (EURO) and greek alphabet (EYPΩ),
- The abbreviation of European Central Bank in five language versions – BCE, ECB, EZB, EKT and EKP – reflecting those days 11 official languages of European Union (EU)
- Symbol © describing protection of copyrights
- Flag of European Union
The basic rules of ECB for reproduction of banknotes:
- For oneside copy it is possible to use pictures of banknotes either bigger than 125% or smaller than 75% of original size of the banknote. The same patter is valid fo reproduction of only certain part of the banknote if that intervene more than 1/3 of the whole banknote
- The pictures in scale 1:1 (100% of original size) are not allowed
- Both size reproduction must be reduced at least by half (50%) or increased minimally by 100%
- Displaying of banknotes in electronic version ( for example internet websites, e-mail, intranet) is possible in maximum resolution 72dpi ot eith nontransparent scripture SPECIMEN through the whole picture of banknote with the length of the sculpture at least 75% of length of banknote and height at least 15% of the total length of the banknote.