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In May 1998, irrevocable conversion rates for the currencies that would be merged into the euro were implemented.The first decade of its life had the feeling of a party, particularly in Southern Europe; but the second brought the inevitable hangover. Finally, in 2015, the ECB launched its quantitative-easing program, whereby member states' central banks bought 2.4 billion euros ($2.8 billion) worth of securities, including 2 billion euros of government bonds. Accordingly, the eurozone's monetary base grew dramatically, from 1.2 trillion euros to over 3 trillion euros.By mid-2018, the net amount of payment orders to Germany through the Target system had risen to 976 billion euros.Spain and Italy alone drew down about 400 billion and 500 billion euros respectively.For Italy, Greece and Spain, that figure is 17 percent, 19 percent and 21 percent, respectively.One way or another, the euro's third decade will decide its fate.
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