Daily Archives: September 21, 2011

Our colleague Gideon Rachman in his FT column this week gives one reason why the euro is in trouble: just look at its banknotes.

Unlike other currencies such as the US dollar or the drachma of old, euro notes shun portraits of dead statesmen and national monuments in favour of abstract bridges and arches. You apparently can’t stick Finland’s national liberation hero on a euro banknote, because he is likely to be unknown in Portugal.

Gideon argues this illustrates the lack of a common European identity that would come in handy in the current crisis.

One other peculiarity: unlike other large currencies, it lacks any kind of nickname. A happy American feels like a million bucks; an Englishman pays three quid for a pint of beer; a Frenchman in the past might have paid cinq balles for a baguette.

But ten years after the notes and coins first appeared, the single currency is still known as, well, the euroRead more