New series of €5 notes due here in May
A new series of €5 notes will circulate in Ireland and the rest of the euro zone next May as the European Central Bank begins the process of replacing the banknotes introduced amid fanfare almost 11 years ago.
In defiance of those who have called the durability of the single currency into question, ECB chief Mario Draghi said it will take “several years” to replace the first series of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500 notes.
The place of Greece in the euro remains in doubt but the ECB has chosen to use a portrait of “Europa”, a storied figure from Greek mythology, in the security features of the new banknotes. Her image will be carried in the watermark and hologram. The new series of notes will also be known as the Europa, whose story inspired ancient Greeks to use Europe as a geographical term.
“Europa, the daughter of a Phoenician king, was seduced by the god Zeus, in the shape of a bull, who carried her away to Crete,” the ECB said.
“The portrait of Europa was chosen to feature in the new euro banknotes because it has an obvious link to the continent of Europe and also adds a human touch to the banknotes.”
After millenniums in the dusts of history, Europa is now set to become a very familiar face in Europe and the world.
Her image, taken from a vase dating back more than 2,000 years, will feature on billions of banknotes. The vase, found in Italy, has its home these days in the Louvre in Paris. Mr Draghi will not produce the design of the new fiver until January, but he unveiled the new security features yesterday. These do not stop with Europa.
Whenever the new notes are tilted, the denomination number will change colour in the light from emerald green to deep blue. The notes will be introduced in ascending order.