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Einstellung der Deutschen zum Euro: Politische Vorteile höher bewertet als wirtschaftlicher Nutzen

Press Release of July 24, 2002

Prior the introduction of euro notes and coins, German acceptance of the euro was low compared to the other countries participating in monetary union. Some enthusiasm was noted shortly after the notes and coins were introduced, but this, however, subsided in the following weeks. Yet, acceptance of the euro is greater than it was last year: then two-thirds of all Germans were concerned about the introduction of the euro, now only fifty per cent are. Germany is among the countries with the lowest acceptance of the euro within the European Monetary Union.
The seeming advantage for Germany of a simple conversion rate between D-mark and the euro has actually turned out to be a big disadvantage when forming a new referral system for prices. The simple conversion rate means that the D-Mark is still present in the consumer's consciousness. Data collected by the DIW Berlin's German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) show that it is generally more highly educated people and other EU citizens who are the least concerned about the euro. Germans in general fear that the abolition of the D-Mark will bring more disadvantages than advantages for Germany. About 56% of the people surveyed were of this opinion. A further 40% are convinced that private investment will become much more insecure. However, 70% expect the euro to foster European unity. Thus, the benefits of the Euro are seen on a political level - the fostering of European unity - instead of in terms of economic development.
At the moment, German fears are mainly nourished by partial price increases, which have caused a huge media debate about profiteering from the euro. Although prices remain stable in Germany - inflation rates were low in May and June- there was an increase in prices in the service sector, which attracted consumers' attention. Subjective inflation still contrasts to the official inflation rate.