Pay a Visit to Greek ‘Europa’ With New Banknote

€20 "Europa series" banknote, ECB
€20 “Europa series” banknote, ECB

While Greece was struggling to get its proposed reform measures accepted by the European Commission (EC) in order to succeed the extension of its bailout program, the European Central Bank (ECB) renewed its long-standing tough love vows with Athens, releasing new €20 banknotes with improved security features inspired by the popular Greek myth of “Europa.”

“The inclusion of the mythological figure Europa, who gave her name to our continent, shows how Europe draws on its shared history,” ECB President Mario Draghi said at the bank’s headquarters in Frankfurt.

“The portrait window is a real innovation in banknote technology. It is the outcome of the Eurosystem’s work to ensure that the euro notes continue to be resilient against counterfeiting,” Draghi added.

According to the myth, Europa was a young woman in ancient Phoenicia who unknowingly charmed Zeus while gathering flowers with her helpers. Zeus was swiftly transformed into a white bull that lured her to ride on his back, and then abducted and ravished her.

The new €20 banknotes will enter circulation on November 25, 2015, including an “emerald number” and the portrait of Europa in the watermark (like the new €5 and €10 notes previously unveiled by the ECB).

Sculpture, inspired by the Abduction of Europa" outside the European Parliament  (a gift from Crete in 2005)
Sculpture, inspired by the Abduction of Europa outside the European Parliament (a gift from Crete in 2005)