The euro: stronger than ever?

Sauna evenings, debt fraud and an Italian with a spiked hat: How the euro stumbled from crisis to crisis, but is stronger today than ever before.


Alexander Hagelüken

Series: 20 years of the euro

Twenty years ago, the euro replaced national currencies such as the German mark, the lira and the franc as cash. In a series, the SZ explains why the euro was controversial among economists and which crises the common currency had to survive. You can find all articles on this overview page.

It always wobbled somehow, Europe’s currency. Anyone who accompanied the German substitute finance minister to Brussels in March 1999 has already experienced this. The euro had just been introduced, three years before the cash changeover. And immediately it crashed against the US dollar. Then, Knall on the case of Oskar Lafontaine, finance minister of the largest euro country Germany, stepped down. Even more shaky currency that economists predicted failure anyway?

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