I resolved with
html_entity_decode("€", ENT_COMPAT, "UTF-8")
as suggested in a comment HERE
GJ Bogaerts wrote
I'm trying to insert the euro-sign € (html-entity: €) in a textstring in a pdf generated by Zend_Pdf.
The problem is that the sign won't show at all. I've tried:
$this->_page1->drawText('€ 5300', 500, 20, "UTF-8");
$this->_page1->drawText(utf8_encode('€ ') . '5300', 500, 20, "UTF-8");
Other extended ascii-characters, such as ñ or á, do show up normally using the second method.
Just the euro-sign keeps giving me problems. I'm using standard fonts (Arial, Courier etc) that are present on the server.