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The Euro () is the currency of 12 countries of the European Union: Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Portugal and Finland. A few other countries, like Monaco and Montenegro, have adopted the Euro as either its official or de facto currency. The only major European country that is not using the Euro is the United Kingdom. The Euro was introduced at the beginning of 1999 and went into general circulation at the start of 2002. The impact of the Euro has been mixed. The Euro has greatly reduced currency transaction charges in participating countries. The Euro also has made life easier for businesses and travelers who can now deal with a single currency. Some European consumers, however, believe that companies used the introduction of the Euro to raise prices. Other Europeans regret that the Euro has replaced their national currencies, to which they had both practical and emotional ties. The Euro has also limited the ability of European nations to carry out monetary policies that are tailored to economic conditions in their own country.



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