New ECB boss Lagarde adds her signature to euro banknotes

FRANKFURT — The new president of the European Central Bank has added her signature to euro banknotes, which she describes as “the most tangible symbol of European integration.”

Christine Lagarde signed the euro bills in a brief ceremony Wednesday at the ECB’s Frankfurt headquarters, a few weeks after embarking on her eight-year term as the bank’s fourth president.

Every euro banknote bears the signature of the institution’s president. Most currently in circulation carry that of Mario Draghi, whose term ended last month.

Lagarde said that 79% of transactions in the eurozone are conducted in cash. Those account for more than half the value of all transactions.

She said that 23 billion banknotes are in circulation – worth 1.26 trillion euros ($1.39 trillion), one-third of which is being used outside the 19-nation eurozone.

The Associated Press