Euro versus guilder: who still remembers the 'knaak', 'joet' and 'geeltje'?

“PVV wants the guilder back”. That was announced by PVV leader Geert Wilder on saturday morning on Twitter. He commissioned a Brittish agency to do the investigation, which happens to be known as a euro skeptical one. The result of this investigation: the reintroduction of the guilder is more advantageous than the preservation of the euro.

Ten years have passed since the euro was introduced, 3714 days to be precise, and now mister Wilder has started to protest against this currency. Yes, in 2002, I remember it well. I thought it was very exciting, yet easy as well. I no longer had to exchange currency before a holiday in Europe, and the fact that I did not have to awkwardly convert when I was in a Spanish outdoor cafe was totally awesome. Useful for me as a consumer, ideal for companies. At least that is how it seemed, now the opinions on that are divided as well.

According to the research that has been carried because Wilders wanted it to the euro has only provided us €800,- per year from increased trade and the dropping off of transaction costs . On the other hand the European coin costs us €2700 euro per year per Dutch citizen because of amongst others a decrease in economic growth . Well, that crisis. If we had kept the guilder, would we not have been affected by the crisis?

I am happy with the euro as a person and as a consumer. Well, happy… It’s just there and there is little I can do about it by myself. I will have to make do with it. Not everybody thinks about it that way. In the first few years everybody kept complaining and calculating. People turned hysterical in the supermarket or in a restaurant. ”That is now double the price!”, you would hear. These people are still there, but not nearly as many. Although the fan pages and websites under the title of ‘we want the guilder back’ are still online. Do not misunderstand me. I want what is best for our country, for our economy and for my own wallet, whether there are guilders or euros inside.

But now, after ten years the elderly among us have finally gotten used to that wacky euro. They used to give their grandchildren a knaak for a good report, now that has turned into €2,-. Those grandchildren made some profit on the change. At the same time those grandchildren have never seen a knaak up close. Does this mean we have to teach this new generation words like knaak, joet and geeltje again? We do not have those kinds of lovely old-fashioned words for the euro. Although new names are emerging: europhile, euroscepticism and of course the unforgettable ‘euroknaller’. Besides the fact that these words would disappear from our vocabulary if we would revert to the guilder, it would also cost billions. And yet according to Wilders it is still more advantageous than preserving the euro.

Well, if we are already talking about costs. How much did the research cost? Wilders also wants a referendum: “Let the Dutch citizen choose whether they want back to that beautiful guilder instead of muddling through with the euro”.

A referendum, do you have any idea how many euros, uhm… guilders that would cost?