What is the Currency of Portugal?

By Victor Kiprop on September 8 2017 in Economics

Portugal uses the euro as currency.

What is the Currency of Portugal?

Portugal is the 49th largest economy according to the International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook 2017. It has the highest rate of immigration as a proportion of the population in the EU. It is estimated that 20% of its population reside outside the country. For a long time, the country topped the list of countries with the highest unemployment rate in the EU. The population of Portugal has an estimated population of 10.3 million as of July 2017. The GPD stood at $206 Billion while the per capita income is approximately ‎$28,500. Portugal made a formal application to join the EU in March 1977 before its application was approved by member states and officially joined the union in January 1986 alongside Spain. It officially began using the euro in January 1999. Before adopting the euro, Portugal used the Portuguese escudo as its official currency.

Portuguese Escudo

The Portuguese escudo was the official currency of Portugal until it was fazed out on March 28th, 2002 after the euro was adopted on January 1, 1999. The escudo was divided into 100 centavos (cents). During the adoption of the euro, the exchange rate for the escudo was 200.48 to €1. Although the currency is no longer used as a medium of exchange in Portugal, the escudo banknote is still eligible for exchange with the euro until February 28, 2022. The exchange of escudo coins ceased on December 31, 2002.

Portugal and the Euro

The euro is the official currency of the European Monetary Union. It was initially adopted by 11 members of the EU on January 1, 1999, before Greece later adopted it two years later. The 12 states officially began circulating the euro on January 1, 2002, as the legal tender. In January 2007, Slovakia became the 13th state to adopt the euro. Portugal was among the first 11 member states who adopted the euro.

The Portuguese Euro Coins

Euro coins were introduced in 2002. The euro coins in circulation are in denominations of €0.01, €0.02, €0.05, €0.10, €0.20, €0.50, €1.00, and €2.00. All euro coins have a common reverse that portrays the map of Europe while each country has the right to design the image to be portrayed on the observe side. The Portuguese euro coins depict different observe designs for the three series of coins. They portray seven castles and five escutcheons, the same image portrayed in the Portuguese court of arms. In 2006, 1,000,000 €2.00 coins were released for circulation but no €2.00 coins have been released since then.

Euro Banknotes

The first euro banknotes were released for circulation in 2002, and are produced by the European Central Bank. They took over from the local currency and became the official banknote of the Eurozone. The design of the euro banknote is identical across the Eurozone although they are printed in the respective countries. They are made of pure cotton fiber to make them have a durable and distinctive feeling. The euro notes in circulation are €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500. All euro notes bear the flag of the European Union, the map of Europe, the name "euro" in both Latin and Greek, and the signature of the president of the European Central Bank.

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