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Monday, 16 July, 2001, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Germans 'unhappy over euro'
Frankfurt, Germany
According to survey, younger Germans have less objection to the euro
By BBC Radio 4's Today programme business reporter, Mary Gahan, in Frankfurt.

A survey for the Today programme suggests that most Germans think Britain should join the European single currency, even though they are not happy about adopting it themselves.

One-thousand Germans were interviewed by the polling organisation, ICM.

The poll found that 55% of Germans thought it wrong for the UK to remain outside the single currency.

Paradoxically, 54% of Germans were unhappy to be giving up deutschmarks for euros.

It could be that most Germans believe the euro would have been a much stronger currency if the UK had been prepared to give up the pound and had taken a full part from the beginning.

European Central Bank, euro note
The weakness of the euro has damaged its image
But there might also be a feeling that by standing on the sidelines Britain is trying to get the best of both worlds.

So that, while Germany is heading towards recession, the UK is able to wait and see how successful the euro will be before deciding whether or not to join in.

By and large younger people in the 18-24 age group are more keen to join the euro and happier to give up the deutschmark.

The older people were, the less inclined they were to be supportive.

Since the euro has come into being, although not yet in note and coin form, we've seen that the currency has been quite weak and that weakness has damaged its image.

If you look at a survey carried out in 1999, it was then estimated that 60% of people in Germany supported the euro. That has changed.

Part of the reasoning is probably Germany's move towards recession - a move which has coincided with the adoption of the euro.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Mary Gahan reports
"54% of Germans were unhappy to be giving up deutschmarks for euros"
Click below for background and analysis on Europe's single currency

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