Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Are the Germans the most nostalgic people in Europe?

On the day that the Independent tells us just how marvellous the EU is, and even better how spiffing the Euro is now that Malta and Cyprus have joined the currency, (that is the political elite, you will notice that the people themselves have not been asked about it) we hear thatthe one in three Germans still keep the old Deutchesmark at home.

Six years after the introduction of the euro, a poll published Tuesday by the weekly news magazine Stern has found one in three Germans still hold deutschemarks for sentimental reasons in their homes.
On the day Cyprus and Malta brought the number of eurozone countries to 15, with a combined population of some 320 million people, a small number of the 1,003 Germans sampled in mid-December admitted to keeping over 500 DM (255 euros or 370 US dollars).
Germany's central Bundesbank has yet to place any time-limit on when it will stop exchanging marks for euros, having published in November 2007 figures showing over 14 billion DM were still in circulation, half in coins.
For the 34 percent who admitted to keeping the old national currency, however, nostalgia seemed to carry more weight than the current exchange rate.
Is that 14 billion marks is more than just nostalgia. Nostalgia would be a set of coins and notes not an entire banking system's worth.

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