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The euro, a currency that has protected not without difficulty

DECRYPTION – Accused of having inflated prices, of having destroyed the competitiveness of French companies, during 20 turbulent years, the euro has played a protective role, even if it has not benefited everyone from the same way.

● Beneficial stability for consumers and businesses

The main consumer concern at the start of the euro was inflation. Many French people feared a surge in labels during the transition, with rounding. One euro was worth 6.55957 francs. Five esoteric digits after the decimal point that many of our compatriots had learned by heart. Some prices have indeed climbed, such as the little black at the counter. Others were rounded down. Le Figaro, for example, celebrated in its own way the euro by going from 7 francs (1.07 euro) to 1 euro all round on January 1, 2002. The idea of ​​a generalized rise in prices from the beginnings of the cash euro remains anchored in people’s minds 20 years later. “There was a psychological effect for the consumer, but there was no major inflationary shock at all”, corrects economist Jean Pisani-Ferry, professor at Sciences Po. The increase was more marked in services, but independently of the euro…

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