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WORLD : German Economies to Wed July 2

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

The two German states agreed on a plan today for merging their economies, settling basic differences over how the nations should assess the costs of unification, officials said.

The tentative agreement sets the stage for a full merger of the economies of the two nations on July 2.

Under the plan, older East Germans who might be reliant on their savings for a living could swap up to 6,000 marks ($3,570) at par and younger people less, an East German spokesman said.

Bonn had originally suggested an across-the-board swap of 4,000 marks ($2,350) for all savings at one-to-one, with further amounts exchanged at two-to-one, when it introduces the powerful West German mark in East Germany on July 2.

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The question of how much of their nearly worthless currency East Germans will be able to exchange at a favorable rate has dominated the debate about monetary union.


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