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In Croatia, 'Nothing Is the Same After This'

It'll now use the euro

(Newser) - "Nothing is the same after this," declared Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, per the Guardian . At the stroke of midnight on Saturday, Croatia switched to the shared European currency, the euro, and removed dozens of border checkpoints to join the world's largest passport-free travel area. It marked...

For the First Time in 20 Years, 1 Euro Is Worth $1

Drop signals trouble ahead for eurozone economies

(Newser) - In good news for anybody planning a European vacation but bad news for American exporters, the euro has sunk to its lowest level in almost 20 years. The exchange rate is now hovering around $1 to 1 euro. The rate, last seen in December 2002, follows a rapid decline for...

Toilet Clogs in Geneva Had Unlikely Source

$120K in 500-euro bills found in 4 toilets in May

(Newser) - Some $120,000 has gone down the drain in Switzerland—literally. Prosecutors say 500-euro bank notes were found stuffed in a toilet serving a vault containing safe deposit boxes at Geneva's USB bank back in May, per Bloomberg . A few days later, per Reuters , 500-euro notes, which "had...

Grandmother Thumbs Nose at Heirs, Shreds $1.1M
Grandmother Thumbs Nose
at Heirs, Shreds $1.1M
in case you missed it

Grandmother Thumbs Nose at Heirs, Shreds $1.1M

It won't work though

(Newser) - Authorities believe an elderly Austrian woman must have really hated her heirs after they found more than $1 million in cash cut up on her bed, the AFP reports. The 85-year-old woman died in a retirement home surrounded by thousands of destroyed euros—in 100 and 500 notes, according to...

Greece Votes 'No,' Plunges Into Uncharted Territory

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says the vote will give them a better deal

(Newser) - Greece lurched into uncharted territory and an uncertain future in Europe's common currency today after voters overwhelmingly rejected demands by international creditors for more austerity measures in exchange for a bailout of its bankrupt economy. Results showed 61% voted "no," compared with 38% for "yes,"...

Another County Adopts Euro
 Another Country Adopts Euro 

Another Country Adopts Euro

Lithuania says goodbye to the lita

(Newser) - Lithuania's lita is about to join the drachma, guilder, and Deutschmark in the pages of history: The country has become the 19th to adopt the euro, despite polls showing around half the population against membership, and the old national currency will no longer be accepted by mid-January, reports Reuters...

US Picks New Fight With Germany— on Economics

Merkel's camp fires back at Treasury report

(Newser) - As if US-German relations weren't fraught enough already, the US Treasury savaged the eurozone powerhouse in its semiannual currency report yesterday, complaining that "Germany's anemic pace of domestic demand growth and dependence on exports" have hurt the EU's struggling members, and created "a deflationary bias...

Eurozone Jobless Rate Hits Grim Record

...of 12.2% , with nearly 20M unemployed

(Newser) - Unemployment across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro has hit another record high, the latest in a series of ignominious landmarks for the ailing single currency zone. Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said today that unemployment rose to 12.2% in April from the previous record...

Cyprus Banks Finally Reopen —for 6 Hours

Customers face heavy restrictions on transactions

(Newser) - After nearly two weeks shut amid a bailout scramble , Cyprus has just cautiously reopened its banks for six hours today—but it's not exactly business as usual. Trucks full of cash arrived at the central bank last night as rifle-bearing police and a helicopter stood guard. Private security guards...

Cyprus Preps Bailout 'Plan B'

 Cyprus Given Monday Deadline 

Cyprus Given Monday Deadline

European Central Bank says its emergency funding will expire then

(Newser) - As Cyprus works on a "plan B" today to fund a bailout , the European Central Bank says its emergency assistance will expire Monday, so there had better be a deal in place, the Wall Street Journal notes. That could be possible: The head of the country's central bank...

Panicked Cyprus Stalls, Braces for Bank Run

Country considers levy of up to 15%

(Newser) - Things are getting crazy in Cyprus, which has again postponed a vote that could levy a tax on bank depositors to fund the nation's bailout, the BBC reports, this time until tomorrow. Its effects, however, are already rippling through Europe, where stock markets and the euro have plummeted, and...

Greeks Launch 48-Hour Strike Over New Cuts

Parliament votes tomorrow on bailout-linked austerity measures

(Newser) - Greeks today launched a 48-hour general strike in protest of new spending cuts, with an estimated 2 million people—from lawyers to hospital employees—taking part. The union-organized strike has shut down banks, schools, and public transportation as Parliament prepares vote on the cuts tomorrow. It must support the austerity...

Soros to Germany: Put Up or Get Out of Eurozone

Billionaire investor says euro poor could be stronger without Germany

(Newser) - If Germany isn't going to take the lead—meaning take on weaker countries' debts and relax austerity demands—George Soros thinks it should just get out of the eurozone altogether, reports Reuters . Without Germany, Soros says the rest of Europe could service their debts more cheaply and be more...

Report: IMF, Germany Ready to Pull Plug on Greece

Rising bond rates show Spain also heading deeper into crisis

(Newser) - The International Monetary Fund could be ready to cut off fresh funds to Greece, a step that would likely lead to default and getting bounced from the eurozone, reports der Spiegel . The big problem is that Greece has fallen so far behind in its austerity promises—made to secure $158....

Cameron: Time for Brits to Figure Out EU Relationship

With euro project affecting sovereignty, PM wants popular mandate

(Newser) - With the eurozone crisis forcing European countries ever closer together—think eurobonds , stimulus transfer payments between countries, and more treaties— Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron is broaching the word "referendum," saying Britons might have to go to the polls again to determine what they want. "As...

Europe Stocks Slump Ahead of EU Summit

Plenty of gloom and doom continuing for euro and eurozone

(Newser) - European stocks and the euro all fell this morning, as investors remain skeptical that this week's EU summit is going to accomplish much of anything, reports the Wall Street Journal . The euro fell to $1.2490 from $1.2574 last Friday, while indexes were down across the continent, with...

Merkel Softens Her Opposition to Stimulus

Germany, France, others agree to push for $163B growth package

(Newser) - The leaders of France, Germany, Italy, and Spain agreed to push for a growth package worth up to $163 billion at a European Union summit next week aimed at kickstarting the economy and safeguarding the currency bloc. French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy,...

Relieved Germany May Throw Greece a Bone
Relieved Germany
May Throw Greece a Bone
g20 begins

Relieved Germany May Throw Greece a Bone

Leaders applaud results as financial woes continue

(Newser) - Germany signaled that it may give Greece some much-needed breathing room in its bailout timetable today, as European leaders cheered the victory of Greece's pro-bailout leaders this weekend. "We're ready to talk about the time frame as we can't ignore the lost weeks and we don'...

Stakes Critical as Greeks Vote
Stakes Critical as Greeks Vote 

Stakes Critical as Greeks Vote

Europe watches, worries about exit from eurozone

(Newser) - Greece is voting today amid global fears that victory by parties that have vowed to ditch bailouts and austerity measures could undermine the eurozone and send the world's major economies reeling. For Greeks, it is the second national election in six weeks, reflecting political turmoil sparked by a two-year...

Central Banks Steel for Greek Vote

G20 ready for 'coordinated action'

(Newser) - Central banks across the world are preparing to take decisive action if needed after Greece's election on Sunday, which could rattle financial markets. "The central banks are preparing for coordinated action to provide liquidity," a G20 aide tells Reuters . Britain says it will inject its economy with...

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