Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to be here today at Národná banka Slovenska for the opening of the “New Face of the Euro” exhibition, which is dedicated to Europe’s single currency, the euro.
Five years ago, in September 2008, Bratislava was the starting point of this travelling exhibition, which has now been held in 11 European cities.
The exhibition came at a historic time for Slovakia. Shortly afterwards, on 1 January 2009, the country became the 16th member of the euro area.
More recently, on 2 May this year, another important euro event took place here in Bratislava: the launch of the new €5 banknotes in the 17 euro area countries. To mark the occasion, ECB President Mario Draghi signed some of the new banknotes for a group of Slovakian students at the Reduta.
The new €5 banknote is the first of the Europa series banknotes to be introduced and is on display here. It shows a hologram and a watermark with a portrait of Europa, a figure from Greek mythology. The new series is named after her. It will gradually replace the first series of banknotes and will be just as easy to recognise and to check.
A key task of the central banks in the euro area is to ensure the integrity of euro banknotes. In other words, we have to steadily develop the notes to stay ahead of counterfeiters. That’s exactly what we’ve done with the Europa series – its security features will be even more difficult to counterfeit.
Besides the new €5 banknote, the exhibition covers other topics, such as the history of money, the euro coins as well as the production and design of banknotes. It also has various interactive displays, which I am sure will appeal to both children and adults.
Ladies and gentlemen, I sincerely hope that you enjoy your visit to the New Face of the Euro exhibition. It is a pleasure for me, on behalf of the European Central Bank, to declare the exhibition open.
European Central Bank
Directorate General Communications and Language Services
Press and Information Division
Kaiserstrasse 29, D-60311 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: +49 69 1344 7455, Fax: +49 69 1344 7404
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