Jan
10
2010

In which continents is the Euro an official currency?

Euro sculpture in Frankfurt (photo by ILoveMyPiccolo - CC-BY)

Euro sculpture in Frankfurt (photo by ILoveMyPiccolo - CC-BY)

The Euro is the official currency of over half of the countries of Europe, but there are two other continents where the Euro is in official use.

Although most of Spain is in Europe, Spain also includes a sprinkling of Mediterranean islands plus three enclaves that are on the African mainland. The Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla are on African soil, bordered by Morocco. There’s also Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, a Spanish fort on a rocky headland along the Moroccan coast. It was an island until 1934, when a storm washed up enough sand and stone to connect it to Morocco and therefore to incorporate it into Africa.

These three enclaves—Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera—being part of Spain have the Euro as their official currency.

Turning now to South America we find Guyane, or French Guiana, on the north-eastern coast between Suriname and Brazil. French Guiana is an overseas region of France. Just as Hawaii is part of the USA, so French Guiana is part of France. As such, the Euro is the official currency.

If we also consider islands, Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean are overseas regions of France, as is Réunion in the Indian Ocean. Also in the Indian Ocean is Mayotte, a French territory just north of Madagascar. In the Atlantic Ocean, the Canary Islands are part of Spain. All of these islands have the Euro as their official currency. Other French territories using the Euro are St Maarten and Saint-Barthélemy in the Caribbean, and Saint Pierre & Miquelon in the North Atlantic just off the Canadian coast.

On the other hand, the Euro hasn’t made it to any Pacific islands yet. The French “overseas departments” of French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis & Futuna use the Pacific Franc (currency code CFP).

Therefore the Euro can be found as an official currency in Europe, Africa, and South America, and also on islands in the Caribbean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. That’s not bad for a currency whose coins and banknotes were first produced as recently as 2002.

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