Subject: Euro Transition in Germany
We don't seem to have had Europe's largest economy represented yet on this round-up.

The transition here was very smooth, and Germans have adopted the euro very quickly (they are a bit more used to having new currencies here, Germans from the east had Ostmarks only 11 years ago).

Teething problems have occurred only with some local public transport (at least in Dsseldorf), with new machines not taking the 20 cent coin, and almost all ticket machines at small stops being removed. The 1 and 2 cent problems are just a continuation of the 1 and 2 pfennig problem of before. The exchange is near to 2 marks to 1 euro, so conversion is a snip. My only problem - as Evan pointed out - is the similarity of the coins. When held in the hand in a stack, 50c, 1# and 20c are all hard to immediately identify.

ATMs here do seem to give out a good mix of notes. I regularly get 10s and 5s in a 100# withdrawl. And no-one has yet refused a 50 note, not even at the bakery that serves me my morning pain au chocolat.

Coin mix is fairly high here as we are so close to the Dutch and Belgian borders. In my pocket right now I have Spanish, Dutch, Italian and German coins.


Jonathan Turton London/Dsseldorf