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The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) adopted ISO 8601 with EN 28601, now EN ISO 8601.

As a European Norm, CEN and CENELEC member states are obligated to adopt the standard as national standard without alterations as well. YYYY format is used with dots as separators and with leading zeros.

The controversy between the "absolute" and "relative" ways of giving the time is largely one of regional dialect differences: the "relative" variant (as in "viertel/Viertel vor/auf drei") is the much more common one as it is used in a wide diagonal strip from Hamburg to Switzerland, leaving some of the German south-west and most of eastern Germany as well as the eastern half of Austria with the "absolute" variant (as in "dreiviertel drei" or "drei Viertel drei").

For half-hours, the absolute form as in "halb zwei" is used everywhere.

On some radio stations, announcers regularly give the current time on both forms, as in "Es ist jetzt vierzehn Uhr einundfünfzig; neun Minuten vor drei" ("It is now fourteen fifty-one; nine minutes to three").

A variant of the 12-hour clock is also used, in particular in informal speech for approximate times.In written German, time is expressed almost exclusively in the 24-hour notation (–), using either a colon or a dot on the line as the separators between hours, minutes, and seconds – e.g. The standard separator in Germany (as laid down in DIN 1355, DIN 5008) was the dot.In 1995 this was changed to the colon in the interest of compatibility with ISO 8601.Week numbers according to ISO 8601 and the convention of starting the week on Monday were introduced in the mid 1970s (DIN 1355).These conventions have been widely adhered to by German calendar publishers since then.

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