Ordinary Germans have begun to reject euro bank notes with serial numbers from Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal, raising concerns that public support for monetary union may be waning in the eurozone's anchor country.
Each country prints its own notes according to its economic weight, under strict guidelines from the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. The German notes have an "X"' at the start of the serial numbers, showing that they come from the Bundesdruckerei in Berlin.
People clearly suspect that southern notes may lose value in a crisis, or if the eurozone breaks apart. This is what happened in the US in the Jackson era of the 1840s when dollar notes from different regions traded at different values.
"The scurrilous idea behind this is that if the eurozone should succumb to growing divergences, then it is best to cling to most stable countries," said the Handelsblatt.
"There are no grounds for panic. The Italian state is not Bear Stearns," it said.
~ more... ~