Euro sign: The painstaking story behind the euro symbol

When the selected symbol was unveiled in December 1996, it was applauded by the now defunct newspaper The European as being “precise and confident, like a post-modern pretzel”. Elsewhere, it caused confusion. A ‘C’ bisected by two horizontal bars? Well, no, it was actually inspired by the Greek letter epsilon. A reference to the cradle of European civilisation, it emphasised historical continuity – as the design of the banknotes themselves would do – while also evoking an ‘E’ for Europe. The classical connection came to seem decidedly ironic when, in 2010, Greece’s bailout crisis threatened the stability of the entire eurozone. Just as well those two parallel lines running through its centre signify stability.

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