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Supermarket to accept Deutschmarks again

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Photo: DPA
16:13 CET+01:00
It hasn't been legal tender for 14 years, but in January a German supermarket chain will start accepting Deutschmarks again.

Kaufland supermarkets will be accepting the former German currency at their cashiers.

To support the campaign, many of the company's products will also be given a 1960s design to enhance the nostalgic theme.

But the food giant hasn't suddenly been bought over by right-wing political party the Alternative for Germany (AfD) - who famously want to reintroduce the old German currency.

Instead, this is a limited campaign, lasting from January 4th until January 30th, and the aim is to get Germans to use the old currency they still have lying around. The estimated value of that currency is over €6 billion.

A spokesperson for the company told The Local that customers can do all their normal shopping but pay with the currency which went out of use in 2002.

The cashier will then calculate the payment based on an exchange rate of 1 Euro to 1.95 DM, a rate which has remained unchanged for 14 years.

According to a recent poll by YouGov, around 54 percent of Germans admit to still having old Deutschmark coins and notes lying around, many for sentimental value.

Calculations made by the Federal Bank in November estimate that 168 million Deutschmark notes and 24 billion coins were never exchanged.

In fact these estimations suggest that around 54 percent of Deutschmark coins are still in the hands of the general public.

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But bankers also reckon that a large proportion of this booty no longer exists – or at least is no longer to be found in Germany.

Many smaller coins will have simply been lost, while special edition silver coins could have been melted down to take advantage of the high price of silver in recent years, the Federal bank believes.

Meanwhile, because the Deutschmark was used as a stable currency in the countries of former Yugoslavia for many years, other coins and notes were taken out of Germany years ago.

With DPA

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