Remember the Euro? 98% of firms shunning the single currency : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From tomorrow's Electroic Telegraph:

Firms are shunning the single currency By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent

ABOUT 98 per cent of continental firms are shunning the euro, a study by the European Commission reveals.

Although it has been the official currency in 11 countries for the past year, the euro is used for only two per cent of commercial transactions. In Germany the figure is just 0.5 per cent. Instead, firms are continuing to quote prices in their native currencies, which are set to disappear in 2002.

In November 1998, Yves-Thibault de Silguy, the EU finance commissioner, predicted that the pressure on business to use euros would be so strong that even British firms would draw up their accounts in the currency.

He said: "This process will be driven by market demand, not because of pressure from the EU. If large companies start invoicing in euros, suppliers may see an incentive to follow suit. The resulting trickle-down effect may lead to much more widespread use of the euro than some people expect."

The latest figures show that only 1.9 per cent of payments by companies in the eurozone are made in euros. The statistics for the proportion of monthly VAT returns completed in euros show a similar pattern. In Luxembourg, where euro use is highest, 6.6 per cent of firms did their returns in euros in Sept 1999. In Spain the figure was 1.1 per cent, in Germany one per cent and in France 0.37 per cent.

The Commission report, Quarterly Memorandum on the Future of the Euro, shows that only 0.8 per cent of consumers choose to make payments in euros. Only 0.4 per cent of bank accounts have been converted into euros.

But without notes and coins available for shoppers, the commerce figures are much more embarrassing. European firms were supposed to welcome the advantage of doing business in a currency that would allow prices to be easily compared across borders.

Francis Maude, the shadow chancellor, said the take-up rate was "dismal". He said: "While people all over Britain - not to mention businesses of all sizes - have grown more solidly opposed to Britain's entry, Labour have become more and more fanatical in their drive to scrap the pound."

-- Old Git (, January 03, 2000


This editorial appeared today at the gold-eagle site:

Euro Speaks

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.~net), January 03, 2000.

Maybe a bit OT, but interesting as an example of media perception. As I remember it, in the first few months of Euro introduction all the coverage in the UK was about the "high" rate of take up, and how there was such a great demand even among Joe Employee to be paid in Euros

Gee whiz, looks like everyone who was going onboard did it in the first couple of weeks. Funny how there was no followups (until now) about how firms and individuals had STOPPED converting to Euros.

Strange how the people of the European Union don't seem to WANT a Federal system, despite being told otherwise. And considering how popular it seems to be in the USA. ;)

-- Servant (, January 05, 2000.

Many people in Europe want to see more integration and co-operation on several issues, but are opposed to idea of a United States of Europe.

A good analogy is a group of individuals all sharing a flat; most are happy to share the bathroom and kitchen, but a couple of them want to knock down all the bedroom walls and stop anyone else from having any privacy.

The frightening thing about the European project is that it's origins lie in the aftermath of the Second World War. These people actually believe that total European integration is needed to prevent another conflict. It hasn't occured to them that almost all of the European states have known for decades that they have too much lose by declaring war on their neighbours. Most of the threats to the EU are external, such as the Balkans.

The really sad thing is that these people now believe that the veto (the ability of one state to defeat a proposal even if everyone else wants it) has to be abolished in order for the EU to work. But the veto has ensured that nothing happens in the EU unless every state is in favour of it. Without the veto, individual states will be forming alliances with another in an attempt to gain a majority over other groups of states that oppose them. Excuse me, but isn't that precisely the kind of behaviour that has led to almost eevery major European war?

I just wish these children of WWII would just accept that there is no longer any need for their "vision"

What has this got to do with y2k btw?

-- Matthew (, January 05, 2000.

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