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Germany

Deutschmark nostalgia down on increased support for euro

Despite the eurozone debt crisis being in its fourth consecutive year, the overwhelming majority of Germans is against returning to the deutschmark. A robust economy has upped their euro affinity.

The number of Germans in favor of the euro currency had increased dramatically over the past 12 months, according to a representative opinion poll by the German Forsa pollsters on Tuesday.

The survey commissioned by the "Handelsblatt" business daily found that about two out of three Germans were supportive of the euro (69 percent), with only 27 percent of respondents wanting the legendary deutschmark back. Only about a year ago, one in two Germans expressed grave doubts in the future and clout of the euro.

"The current eurozone crisis, which has remained too complex to understand to most, is no doubt worrying Germans," Forsa chief Manfred Güllner told the "Handelsblatt." "But their largely positive disposition towards the euro seems no longer affected by that."

Well-founded optimism?

And they're not even shocked by the thought that the currency union probably would long have stopped existing without the massive interference by the European Central Bank (ECB) which has pumped incredible amounts of cheap money into the market and promised to buy up sovereign debt from crisis-stricken member states whenever the need arises.

While in southern European nations, such as Italy and Greece, strong anti-euro forces and parties have long established themselves, there's no such  influential movement on the horizon in Germany.

Economists believe the reason is that 11 years after the introduction of the euro Germans have made their peace with that currency and have learned to see its benefits. What's made this learning process easier is the robust state of the German economy amid the eurozone crisis, with unemployment standing at just 7.2 percent and thus being much lower than in most other members of the bloc.

hg/kms (dpa, AFP)