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Old Francs expire, France makes a Mint

As Greece scrambles for revenue, the French treasury has just banked some 550-M Euros by simply letting the French franc, created in Y 1360, expire.

Last Friday was the final day that French francs could be turned into the Bank of France, the central bank, in exchange for the common European currency, the Euro, a little more than 10 yrs after it was introduced as bills and coins.

Approximately 550-M Euros represented the francs outstanding, today they are worthless, and will be registered as revenue to the French state.

As the Franc died, it is the future of the Euro that seems at question now, an irony that hardly escaped some of those waiting in line at the bank to exchange the francs they had found stashed away in drawers, coat pockets and old purses. Only bills were exchangeable; coins went out of circulation in 2005.

For some it was a sad day as the Franc notes and coins were varied and beautiful. The Euro, on the other hand, seems like the product of an off-day at the design studio, made worse by the fact that the bills feature no recognizable buildings or portraits. The theory behind keeping some images off was that any European, even Beethoven, whose music was used for the European Union anthem would be too national.

The far-right National Front candidate in the coming presidential election, Marine Le Pen, is the only significant politician calling for France to pull out of the EuroZone, and the European Union, and return to the Franc.

More mainstream politicians and economists regard the idea as folly. The Greeks, by the way, have until March 1 to switch their old Drachmas into Euros.

Paul A, Ebeling, Jnr. Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels. www.livetradingnews.com