The establishment of the European Central Bank (ECB) 25 years ago is scheduled to be celebrated in the German city of Frankfurt where it is headquartered on Wednesday evening.
On June 1, 1998, the bank started operations and seven months later on Jan. 1, 1999, the euro common currency was introduced to 11 countries out of the then 15 members of the European Union.
The euro currency, the stability of which is ensured by the ECB, was initially used electronically as a clearing currency, until on January 1, 2002.
The euro replaced the previous national currencies such as the German Deutschmark, the French franc and the Italian lira in notes and coins.
Today, the euro is the official means of payment for more than 346 million people in 20 EU countries.
Not only did the bank set the key interest rates for the eurozone, but it also, together with the national central banks, produced and issues fresh euro banknotes.
In which it directly supervised the largest banks in the eurozone.
Former ECB presidents Jean-Claude Trichet and Mario Draghi were also invited to the celebration.
The first president of the ECB was Wim Duisenberg, but died in 2005. (dpa/NAN)