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February 2001 - Nr. 2


The Editor
Antje berichtet
Katharina Hut
Views & Reviews
Down On The Town
Driver's Licence...
William Hetzler
Prussian Tercentennial
Dick reports...
Ham Se det jehört?
In Brief
German Laser...
Czarist Documents

In Brief

   TWIG - The D-Mark was always good as gold, and soon that will hold literally as well as figuratively. Production began Tuesday (January 16) of a commemorative gold D-Mark coin that will go on sale this summer. At 12 grams, the special issue D-Mark is considerably heavier than its workaday counterpart and, with a price tag in the vicinity of DM 250, considerably more valuable as well. Detail-minded numismatists will note that the gold coins will be stamped Deutsche Bundesbank rather than Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

Germany’s thrift institutions plan to do their part to help make the euro’s cash arrival next January as painless as possible. The German Savings and Loan Association (Deutscher Sparkassen und Giroverband) announced its member banks will not charge their customers fees for exchanging D-Marks for euros in "normal household sums." What exactly a "normal household sum" might be, the association did not specify, but a spokesperson said as long as customers do not show up with suitcases full of change they probably will not be charged for trading in their D-Marks.

The euro’s arrival in cash form offers both problems and potential for the industry that lives on pocket change. The Association of the German Vending Machine Industry (VDAI: Verband der deutschen Automatenindustrie) calculates that refitting vending machines for the euro will cost the industry about DM 1.1 billion, not including labour costs. Roughly a third of 2.4 million vending machines now in use in Germany will not be able to be refitted, an association spokesperson told the press Monday (January 15), and replacing them could be a boon for manufacturers. Throughout the twelve-nation euro zone, the association estimates, nine million vending machines will be made obsolete by the introduction of euro cash.

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