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Before formally ascending to the European Union and later adopting the single European currency (Euro), the French used the Franc and the Germans the Deutsche Mark. Both these currencies where issues and traded independently of each other but due to the large amount of trade between the two countries they were easily exchanged on the currency markets. They were also both free floating currencies, meaning they were traded on the open market an not artificially controlled by their respective central banks. The German Mark was always stronger both in rate of exchange and value than the French Franc due to the larger size of the German economy and greater trading volume of its currency.
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