Germany is a founding member of the European Union and one of the first-wave countries to adopt the euro on 1 January 1999.
Last update: 4 may 2009
Surface area: 357 030 km2
Population: 82 062 249 (Eurostat 2009)
Joined the European Union: Founding member (25 March 1957)
Currency: Euro since 1 January 1999 (formerly German mark, DEM or DM)
Status: Euro-area member since 1 January 1999
Fixed conversion rate: €1 = 1.95583 DEM
Adoption of the euro: The euro banknotes and coins were introduced in Germany on 1 January 2002, after a transitional period of three years when the euro was the official currency but only existed as 'book money'. The legal tender status of the German mark banknotes and coins ended on 31 December 2001, but they were accepted as payment until 28 February 2002 by virtue of a joint declaration from retail and banking associations.
Exchange of former national currency: The Deutsche Bundesbank (National Central Bank of Germany) will continue to exchange unlimited amounts of mark notes and coins for an unlimited period.