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Germans still have €7 billion worth of D-Marks

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Germans still have €7 billion worth of D-Marks
Photo: DPA
14:03 CET+01:00
Germany's central bank believes nearly €7 billion-worth of the country's old currency is still floating around, 12 years after the switch to the euro.

The Bundesbank's last check in November revealed that there were around 170 million Deutsch Mark (D-Mark) notes unaccounted for, and 24 billion coins. This would make 13.05 billion D-Marks, or €6.67 billion.

But the Bundesbank said this was not a problem, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday. “A huge amount of D-Marks have been handed over anyway,” it said in a statement.

People who did not trust the euro had kept hold of some, as had collectors, the bank said. While a large amount were simply sat, forgotten about, in German homes.

There was probably also a large amount of D-Marks overseas mainly in former Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe, the bank said.

The Bundesbank added that when a grandparent died relatives often found stashes of D-Marks under the carpet or hidden in furniture. One family even found wads of notes inside the panel of a bath, the Süddeutsche Zeitung said.

D-Marks can be swapped for free in Germany, whether in a bank or by post. From January to November 2013, 194,000 packages of money were sent to be swapped. In this were coins worth 105.6 million D-Marks – around €54 million.

Not all eurozone countries still swap old currencies. In France, Italy and Greece, the window of opportunity has closed. Spain will allow exchanges until 2020.

READ MORE: Euro debt crisis 'could last a decade'

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