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Off topic: Interesting attitudes towards the euro
Thread poster: Edward Potter

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:34
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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Jan 14, 2005

Many Europeans Still Troubled by Euro

Thu Jan 13, 9:40 AM ET Business - AP

By RAF CASERT, Associated Press Writer

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Three years after the introduction of euro cash, almost half the citizens in the 12 nations that use the currency still struggle to replace francs, marks and lire in their hearts and minds, a survey released Thursday showed.

Irish male teenagers are most at home with the new currency, according to the poll commissioned by the European Union (news - web sites)'s head office, while 30-something women from the Italian countryside still hanker for their lost lira.

The survey found 16 percent of citizens expressed "a lot of difficulty" with the euro and 33 percent said they had "some difficulty" paying with the multinational cash.

Some 52 percent of citizens in the euro-zone nations have "no difficulty at all" in using the new currency, up one percentage point from a similar survey last year, the rounded figures showed.

The Eurobarometer poll highlighted big national differences.

In Ireland, 78 percent had no difficulty, followed by Luxembourg with 71 percent and Greece with 69 percent.

In contrast, citizens of the currency bloc's three largest nations struggled the most. Only 35 percent of Italians were fully at ease with the euro, 42 percent of French and 56 percent of Germans.

Across the bloc, 57 percent of men had no problems using the euro, compared to 45 percent of women. The 15-24 age group was most at ease with the euro, those aged 25-39 were less happy, the poll showed.

City dwellers generally had less difficulty than those from rural areas.

In their day-to-day shopping, just 25 percent said they still did most of their mental calculations in their defunct national currencies, but for exceptional purchases such as houses or cars, 49 percent still think in guilders, francs, pesetas and the other old monies.

More than 90 percent of those asked said they were now at ease distinguishing the different denominations of euro banknotes, 72 percent with euro coins.

Sixty percent said they would not mind if the 1 cent and 2 cent coins were dropped from circulation, as some EU governments are considering. Only 29 percent want the 1 euro coin replaced by a bill.

The European Commission (news - web sites) expressed surprise that only 38 percent of citizens were aware that they can use bank cards for purchases and cash withdrawals in other euro-zone nations without facing extra fees.

The poll was based on telephone interviews with around 1,000 people in each of the 12 euro-zone nations. It carried an average margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

EU polling site:

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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:34
In Ireland Jan 14, 2005

I'd agree with the stats given for Ireland.
By the end of the first week of the scheme, the Irish punt was completely replaced by the Euro.

I can barely remember what our old money looks like now!

The main problem we would have here is the fact that companies all over the country used the Euro as an easy and sneaky way to increase prices, leading to the current "Rip-Off Ireland" campaigns here.

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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:34
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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Bank cards for cash withdrawals Jan 14, 2005

I do know that I have a Spanish bank card and got dinged for 7.50 euros when I made a withdrawal at an ATM in the Netherlands.

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:34
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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1- und 2 cent coints were never used in Finland Jan 14, 2005

We only see them abroad. All purchases are rounded to 5 or 10 cents at check out. So when "some governments are considering" dropping these couns from circulation, they can draw on Finnish experiences.

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:34
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Spanish to English
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The Greek trauma Jan 14, 2005

The drachma was the oldest European currency still in existence when it was phased out. I was in Greece the year before it happened, and there was a sensation of impending doom about it. (I wouldn't have been surprised if they had backed out when they finally met the targets).

But I came back the year after it was implanted, and got a pleasant surprise: the Greek euro bore the Athenian owl of the 4-drachma coins used in the 5th century BC (Athena's pet, supposed to be a symbol of her wisdom) with an olive twig in its beak -- easily the most endearing, for lack of a better word, among euro designs, even if it came into circulation a year late.

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Hans G. Liepert  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:34
English to German
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Even at home Jan 14, 2005

Edward Potter wrote:

I do know that I have a Spanish bank card and got dinged for 7.50 euros when I made a withdrawal at an ATM in the Netherlands.

In Germany you are charged, if you are using an ATM from another banking group (though German)

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United States
Local time: 23:34
Spanish to English
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Euro attitudes Jan 14, 2005

I am interested in knowing if there are any groups in Euro countries that advocate turning back the clock and returning to their native currencies. I would appreciate any links to websites (they don't necessarily have to be in English).

I am currently living in Ecuador, and I was also here back in the year 2000 when the country abandoned its national currency, the sucre, in favor of the US dollar. The sucre was never a strong currency, and before dollarization many prices of things, especially big ticket items and services, were already quoted in USD.

Five years later, the experience has been mixed- a boon for some, a disgrace for others, but for most, not much has changed. On the plus side, a dollar today is still a dollar tomorrow, and prices don't rise as much and as quickly as they used to. On the minus side, prices did go up, as many feared, and in many cases way up to US levels and beyond. In converting prices from sucres to dollars, prices were always rounded up to the next round number (often the next dollar or ten dollars), in a process called "redondeo".

There are some social groups who want to bring back the national currency, but most people are so used to the dollar now that another change would be chaotic.

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Local time: 13:34
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heyy I did notice that Jan 15, 2005

Back in SPain, I remember that a lot of people still talked about prices in peseta terms, not euro. I still remember when I dropped my jaw when my flatmate told me that a train ticket would cost me 60000 ((LOL)) Then I realised that she was thinking in the term of pesetas, not euro.

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