26 Dec '11, 5am

Honeymoon over for Europeans and their money

BERLIN: The euro, rolled out as a cash currency with a string of promises about easy travel, European unity and stable prices, has left crisis-rattled consumers decidedly ambivalent a decade on. On the streets of Berlin, Madrid, and Bratislava, the view is similar: despite its clear upsides, the transition to the euro hiked the cost of living even as it introduced deep political and economic uncertainty in the bloc. The euro, the most tangible manifestation of European integration in everyday life, has become a symbol of the debt crisis and the economic downturn. "Since we rolled out the euro in France, we gave up our purchasing power," fumes Viviane Vangic, 37, in the Paris city centre. Eighty-five percent of Germans believe that the euro has pushed up prices, according to a recent survey. And Maria Angeles in Madrid says that "when we went to the euro, what used to cost ...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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