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POLICE

German pensioner loses €20k in cash after leaving it on car roof

It's not unusual for Germans to carry a lot of cash. But for one man in North Rhine-Westphalia, taking out banknotes turned into a nightmare.

German pensioner loses €20k in cash after leaving it on car roof
Germany is known for being a nation of cash lovers. Photo: DPA

The 69-year-old man in Witten, near Bohum in western Germany, withdrew €20,000 of cash from a bank last Friday in order to buy a new car, police said in a statement.

He then placed the envelope with the cash on the roof of his current car. However, he forgot about the envelope and drove off.

A short time later, police said the man noticed that the envelope had disappeared.

Police are urgently appealing for anyone who finds the money to hand it into a lost property office or to the police so that the large sum can be reunited with the pensioner.

The man withdrew the cash at around 3.40pm on Friday, November 22nd from a bank at Ruhrstraße 45 in Witten. He drove off in the direction of Husemannstraße.

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Police appealed on Twitter for anyone with information to get in touch.

A nation of cash lovers

Although things are changing slowly as card payments become more popular, Germany is known for its Bargeld (cash) culture, and it's not unusual to pay for expensive items with cash.

READ ALSO: Will the German love affair with cash ever end?

In fact, hardly any other nation likes paying with banknotes as much as the Germans do.

According to Barkow Consulting, only about every 20th payment in Germany is processed by credit card. Statistically speaking, founder Peter Barkow said each German citizen keeps €2,200 cash at home.

Germans carried an average of €103 in their wallets in 2016, a study by the European Central Bank revealed, compared with an average of only €65 in the Eurozone.

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MONEY

Energy crisis: Which everyday German products are increasing the most in price?

Inflation in Germany reached 10.4 percent in October – the highest level in 70 years. The Federal Statistical Office has now announced which prices have risen particularly sharply.

Energy crisis: Which everyday German products are increasing the most in price?

Energy prices

Energy prices in Germany have risen significantly as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the squeeze on cheap energy supplies and high energy prices are the biggest driver of inflation.

Despite the relief measures taken by the federal government over the past year, energy prices in October were 43 percent higher than in the same month last year.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: Germany’s inflation relief measures to support people in cost of living crisis

According to the German Federal Statistical Office, household energy in particular has become significantly more expensive.

Prices for natural gas, for example, have more than doubled since last October – increasing by 109.8 percent.

The cost of heating with other energy sources has also risen sharply – the price of firewood, wood pellets or other solid fuels has increased by 108.1 percent since October 2021, while the price of heating oil has increased by 83 percent. Electricity prices have also increased by 26 percent.

A man fills up his car at a gas station in Duisburg. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Reichwein

Prices for gasoline and diesel have also risen by more than 22 percent since last year. In October, an average 40-litre tank of Super E10 cost €76 – €10 more than a year ago and €26 more than in 2020. 

Groceries

According to the Federal Statistical Office’s report, private households are now paying on average 20.3 percent more for groceries than in October 2021.

The biggest price hike has been for edible fats and oils – such as butter and cooking oil – which have increased by 49.7 percent since last October.

A girl spreads butter on a slice of bread. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Patrick Pleul

Dairy products and eggs are 28.9 percent more expensive than a year ago, while vegetables and cereal products are 23.1 and 19.8 percent more expensive respectively.

The statisticians attribute the price increases to supply bottlenecks and problems in the upstream stages of the production chain as the main reasons for these cost hikes. 

READ ALSO: Fact check: Is Germany heading into a recession next year?

Prices for meat have also risen by 19.3 percent within the last year, as the cost of energy, fertilizer and feed has risen sharply, while labour shortages and minimum wage increases have made personnel costs more expensive.

Vocabulary 

Price increases – (die) Preiserhöhungen

Wood pellets – (die) Holzpellets

Heating oil – (das) Heizöl

Dairy products – (die) Molkereiprodukte

Cereal products – (die) Getreideprodukte

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

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