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.


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.