Europe’s new banknotes are to go Greek.
The first of the notes, the €5 denomination, will be unveiled at an event in the Archaeological Museum in Frankfurt on 10 January 2013. It will be circulated throughout the Euro area in May.
A shroud of secrecy surrounds the exact design of the new notes, however one or two details have emerged; notably that the Europa series will, indeed, feature a picture of said character, cribbed from a vessel in the Louvre in Paris, as the currency’s watermark. As an added security device, each note will all carry an emerald number., one of the mysterious and somewhat ominous-sounding “enhanced security devices” promised by the ECB’s Director of Banknotes, Ton Roos. There have also be assurances that, to prevent wear and tear, notes will be reinforced with “a coating”.
“Research has shown that people tend to remember faces”, ECB president Mario Draghi said at the announcement of the new round of notes on 8 November. “That is why we chose to show a face in the second series of Euro banknotes”. Quite exactly how this will help citizens was not explained; unless there is parallel research to suggest that people are in real of forgetting the concept of money, or that people are unaware that the paper in their pockets that is exchanged for goods and services is really hard currency.
But Europa, Draghi is keen to remind us, gave her name to the continent. As a name, “we chose Europa because these are Euro banknotes after all”, he said. “So, is there any figure better to serve as the new face of the Euro?”
Or, is there a better way to create a sentimental attachment to something that your country might be in danger of dropping out of?