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10 years on: Germany remembers introduction of euro cash

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10 years on: Germany remembers introduction of euro cash


It has been 10 years since euro starter kits were first handed out to people in Germany, ahead of the introduction of the single currency.

Twenty deutschmarks could be traded in for packs containing 10.23 euros.

The euro coins and notes were formally launched on 1 January 2002, but the countries involved issued kits beforehand, swapping the old currencies for packs of euro coins, so their citizens could get used to the new money.

Norbert Raedel in Berlin recalls how he felt 10 years ago: “It was an unfamiliar feeling because you could always rely on the strong deutschmark.”

Despite the current euro crisis, a shopper in Berlin thought the single currency has worked out well: “We do need the euro because overall the German economy profited from it.”

At a bar in Berlin, a customer pays in deutschmarks but is given change in euro because the bar’s owner continues to accept the old currency.

Though the deutschmark is not legal tender, there are still 13 billion of them floating about and they can be exchanged for euros at Germany’s central bank.

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