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Merkel vows no return to Deutsche mark

The Local · 19 Jan 2011, 14:13

Published: 19 Jan 2011 14:13 GMT+01:00

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"There will be no return to the D-Mark," Merkel said in an interview with this week's edition of Stern magazine.

She reiterated that Germany was committed to the Europe's single currency and "would do everything necessary to guarantee a stable euro."

Merkel also dismissed the notion of a split in the eurozone between fiscally prudent northern countries, such as her own, and the debt-stricken south, where Portugal is seen as most at risk after debt bailouts for Greece and Ireland last year.

"Not with me. For Germany, this is a definite 'No'. And relations in Europe are not that black and white in any case," she said.

As the richest country in Europe, Germany is the biggest contributor to a multi-billion-euro fund designed to help ailing eurozone nations while polls have shown that rescuing Greece and then Ireland was unpopular.

Merkel also called for "more intensive cooperation" between the 17 countries that share the euro but insisted that this should not be limited only to eurozone members.

"What we agree should be open to all who want to join in," the chancellor said.

A poll published in December by the mass-circulation daily Bild found 49 percent of those surveyed wanted the mighty Deutsche mark back.

However, a separate survey published Wednesday by insurance firm Allianz showed that inflation in Germany has been much lower since the euro was introduced than when Germans had the deutschmark in their pockets.

"Inflation in Germany has averaged 1.5 percent per year, much lower than in the times of the D-Mark when it was 2.6 percent," Allianz chief economist Michael Heise told the Die Welt daily.

Story continues below…

On Saturday, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet told Bild that inflation "has been more stable in the Federal Republic (of Germany) than over the previous 50 years.

"The Germans, too, are aware of how valuable it is," said Trichet.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:45 January 19, 2011 by storymann
Returning to the DM would be the mother of all financial woes in the Euro zone..
15:02 January 19, 2011 by Fatz Lewinski
A pointless article reacting to a pointless survey. Bild? Not exactly a trusted measure of German feeling is it.
15:40 January 19, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Since Germany now owns and speaks FOR Europe with the Euro. Greece, Portugal, et al. Germany now has to pay for her. Its like marrying a Beautiful South European Woman, then realizing that her whole family is unemployed, and you wake up one morning to realize, that you aren't the lucky winner in the deal, after all. But you can't very well ditch her, can you;)
16:39 January 19, 2011 by dcgi
Don't forget the billions of Euros it would cost to launch the renewed currency and it wouldn't be like they would be suddenly exempt from making payments into the bailout fund. Pretty pointless speculation really.
18:04 January 19, 2011 by michael4096
The euro was, and is, a historic one way bet. Not really any way back

But, I hate it when politicians say that - it sounds so uncertain
19:52 January 19, 2011 by fryintl
The absolute best thing for Germany is a DM, but that would also mean the end of teh European Union and as such, wars will be fought over that issue, and no one in Europe has the guts to go that far. The common market is here to stay for now, but it sure would be better if each country had to bank on their own means and not be able to feed off of the others to survive. Socialism sure doesn't work, and the Euro proves how it hurts teh fiscal few and is advantageous to the majority of poor folk.

My next comment would be on the state and efficacy of the UN, but as an American GI, I am of the mind that I don't really have to say anything. I mean, really, isn't it great that Botswana has a say in world politics when they don't contribute anythin gto its advancement? (Just an example of my thought process, but I could have used Mexico, the Czech Rep, North Korea, iretrea, panama, venezuela, GUiana, Haiti, or any number of others.
20:21 January 19, 2011 by michael4096
@fryintl your comment sounds good until faced with the test of history...

"Socialism sure doesn't work.." when actually, socialism has been the one constant in world (including US) history over the last century - the question is not what but how much and when

"..efficacy of the UN.." I guess you mean like when the UN told the US NOT to enter North Korea or we'll still be fighting the Korean War in the 21st century! Yes! You are correct! The paymasters of the UN will insist on their agenda while they can; and, the UN will not become effective until it is represented democratically. (But, unfortunatately, the Botswanans, Czechs etc will then be almost as human as Americans)
20:46 January 19, 2011 by derExDeutsche
@ michael4096

"when actually, socialism has been the one constant in world (including US) history over the last century - the question is not what but how much and when"

-this is your argument that history shows that socialism has NOT failed? fail.

the only way/reason Socialism even exisits is by the good graces of a Capitalistic system. Otherwise, it is known simply as Communism.

"The paymasters of the UN will insist on their agenda while they can; and, the UN will not become effective until it is represented democratically." -

yu mean to say that once they ARE represented democratically, that they will not continue to conspire on the side of financial returns? How IS Haiti these days?

Where DID all that money go? Word on the street is, not Haiti. hmm.
21:06 January 19, 2011 by michael4096
@derED - you are speaking a different language to me - my understanding of socialism is that it resides within the capitalistic system - as you say communism is outside - perhaps, you can clarify where socialism resides in your value system

Haiti? I'm confused! I agree with you, Haitians currently have no voice in the UN - your contention seems to be that that's ok, they'll only use it to steal anyway. Correct? Like the victoriarian idea that the household help would steal the silver?
22:44 January 19, 2011 by freechoice
10 euros don't buy you much these days!

Everything seems to get expensive these days!

With the exception of your salary of course!
22:47 January 19, 2011 by BrianS
Bring it back!! Nobody is declaring war against the U.K. or the Swiss etc. for not adopting the euro.
22:51 January 19, 2011 by kpex
Germany is doing the right thing because Germany is thinking long term. Germany cannot go it alone and be as rich by alienating Europe. They couldn't do it militarly, so they are doing it economically. Good for them. I would rather see someone who is competent (i.e. Germany) lead the pack that say Britain or France, don't you think?.
08:38 January 20, 2011 by GermanAussier
Actually Botswana is a model of African stability and Democracy. Never had a war (in fact it has never needed a defence force), has had free and fair elections since independence, and is routinely praised for good governence. Sounds like an example we could all live up to.

I get the point you were making, you just made used a poor example.
09:18 January 20, 2011 by Fatz Lewinski

Botswana has a strong, growing economy and its currency regularly out-performs the South African Rand. It is recognized as the least corrupt country in Africa.

Given that this is a country not without health and enviromental issues, it seems to progress - I'd like to hear that kind of voice more often.
12:43 January 21, 2011 by mountbud
Germany going back to the d-Mark would hurt german exporters in my view and the resultant conseuencies of that
23:13 January 21, 2011 by Logic Guy
Well, either way, Germany must pay a huge sum, in order to "Insulate" itself from unstable countries. As a giant, exporting nation, at the moment, Germany is dependent upon other countries to buy the things it produces.

The Euro alone won't prevent war in Europe. However, poverty and hopelessness will, which is a problem within several EU nations.
11:16 January 24, 2011 by cobalisk
This notion that socialism = communism and therefore does not work is absurd.

Europe and the EU is not communism, it is capital-socialism or market socialism and it works, great in fact. In all measurements of quality of life (Life expectancy, literacy, infant mortality, gender equality, etc.) The European countries lead the world. But don't take my word for it, look it up. And lets not get started on violence in Europe vs the US...

Those hoping for the implosion of the EU are fantasizing, integration here has worked, not perfectly and not flawlessly but it has worked and is still working. Get used to it, its been 10 good years, we have to pay some bad years now but it will improve because it appears we are over the hump.
16:27 January 26, 2011 by raben
Germany will be the last lender in EU as all the periphery falls, and the burning question is if Germany can handle taking on burden up to six times reunification (costs) with East Germany.
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