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Despite crisis Europeans still swear by euro

European voters are in a "throw the bums out" mood, ejecting nine governments since the debt crisis began, but no matter how down they feel about their leaders and economies, one thing they don't reject is the euro itself.

world Updated: Nov 26, 2011 01:37 IST

European voters are in a "throw the bums out" mood, ejecting nine governments since the debt crisis began, but no matter how down they feel about their leaders and economies, one thing they don't reject is the euro itself.

The existence of the nearly 13-year-old euro, used by over 330 million people in 17 countries, has come into doubt recently as European governments struggled with the financial crisis.

But ordinary Europeans, skeptical of the shared currency back in 1999, now profess widespread allegiance to the banknotes and coins whose designs vary from country to country but whose value doesn't.

Their attachment stems partly from an appreciation for the economic benefits it has brought, and partly from fear of what would unfold were the eurozone to break up.

Beyond small businesses, the euro has made travel easier, eliminating the need to change marks, lira or drachmas. It has also boosted cross-border shopping, with more Europeans able to hop over frontiers to make purchases and save money.

Appreciation for the euro is matched by fear of the unknown effects that a splitting of the eurozone would have. When economic uncertainty is already rife, many Europeans understandably want to stick with what they know.