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MEP suggests BioNTech pair appear on euro notes

January 2, 2022

Moritz Körner, a European lawmaker with Germany's neoliberal Free Democrats, has said the pair have saved "millions of lives." The euro bank note is set to be redesigned over the coming years.

BioNtech founders Özlem Türeci and Ugur Sahin
The married couple founded BioNTech, which developed a vital COVID vaccineImage: Christophe Gateau/dpa/picture alliance

A member of the European Parliament suggested to the European Central Bank (ECB) on Sunday that BioNTech founders Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci be depicted on one of the euro bank notes.

Moritz Körner, a member of  Germany's neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP), was the first to make such a suggestion.

'Their work has saved the lives of millions of Europeans'

"Important European figures like the BioNTech founding couple Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci should be printed on the new euro notes," said Körner, as quoted by German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. "Their work has saved the lives of millions of Europeans.

"The trajectory of their life is an impressive story about integration, progress, entrepreneurship, scientific excellence and the potential of an open immigrant society," he added.

British nurse holding a syringe with a patient in the background
BioNTech developed a COVID-19 vaccine, which is being used to stem the tide of the pandemicImage: Jeff J Mitchell/AFP

Türeci and Sahin founded the Mainz-based company BioNTech in 2009. In a partnership with the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, BioNTech has developed an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine which is among the inoculations being used to stem the tide of the pandemic.

What will the redesign process look like?

On January 1, 2002, euro bank notes were introduced as the official currency of the eurozone, a monetary union that currently includes 19 of the EU's 27 member states.

Four 100-euro notes
The euro was introduced as the official currency of the eurozone in 2002Image: Andrei Barmashov/PantherMedia/image images

Twenty years later, the ECB has initiated a process to redesign the bank notes.

The public is to have a say in the extensive euro redesign process. European citizens will be surveyed and a carefully balanced advisory group will be formed with members from each of the 19 eurozone states.

However, it will be many years before a new design is chosen.

sdi/aw (AFP, dpa)

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