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Greece adopts euro - EMUbusiness - Issue 10

16 January 2001, 22:58 CET


EMUbusiness - Issue 10
3 January 2001
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EMUbusiness top stories
=======================
1. Greece adopts euro
2. Co-operation between Eurosystem and candidate central banks stepped up
3. Euro being viewed more favourably
4. Ireland re-launches code on dual price display
5. Euro holds no terrors for Spaniards


Publisher's Note
================

The old year ended rather well for the euro, with the exchange rate against the dollar taking a turn for the better. If that can be sustained into the New Year, it should be good not only for the image of the euro in financial markets, but also in public opinion. There is in many EU countries a link between warm feelings about the
economy and a positive attitude to the euro, as the Ipsos survey reported on below demonstrates. And since there is now no turning back where the euro is concerned, rising support for the euro in public opinion is clearly desirable in 2001 in order to ensure a smooth farewell to national currency units in a year's time.

Regards,
Marion Bywater
Publisher, EMUbusiness
mailto:mbywater@eubusiness.com

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1. Greece adopts euro
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Greece adopted the euro on January 1, 2001. The drachma entered the euro at the parity of EUR1:GDR340.750 pre-determined last June when its application for membership was formally accepted. The drachma had no difficulty in holding this rate in the final few days before it became a denomination of the euro.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/34867


2. Co-operation between Eurosystem and candidate central banks stepped up
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Co-operation between the central banks of the eurozone and of the 12 accession countries is to be expanded across the board. A regular framework for co-operation was established in late 1999 at a seminar in Helsinki for Eurosystem (i.e. eurozone) central banks and those of
the candidate countries. At a further seminar at Bank-Governor level in December in Vienna, it was agreed to step up co-operation in all relevant areas, including economic and monetary policy analysis, payment systems, statistics, legal issues and other areas.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/34869


3. Euro being viewed more favourably
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The euro is making up some lost ground in public opinion according to a survey released by Canal-Ipsos of France just before Christmas. In September, opinion was equally divided across the five largest EU countries as to whether the euro conjured up positive or negative images. The balance had by November swung back in favour of the
euro. One thing has not changed: the overall picture masks the fact that two countries, Germany and the U.K., were more inclined in both surveys to regard the euro in a negative light, while the balance of opinion has never been negative in France, Italy or Spain.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/34870


4. Ireland re-launches code on dual price display
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Ireland has re-launched its National Code on Euro Changeover, which sets guidelines for dual display of prices and consumer information. The Irish government used the launch of its Euro Action Plan 2000-2001 in mid-December as an opportunity to give new momentum to the
code, which appears to have had little impact since its original launch in June 1999 because consumer interest in the euro has been low.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/34871


5. Euro holds no terrors for Spaniards
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Spanish consumers are relaxed about getting to grips with the euro. A series of surveys on the basis of simulations of euro use in commercial centres has consistently shown that people feel it will be relatively easy to switch to making their daily purchases in euro. In the latest survey released in December and carried out after simulations in two areas of Madrid last October, eight out of ten respondents thought it would be easy to work in euro. This is the same as the average percentage in a total of eight simulation exercises.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/34868


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Other stories on EUbusiness in December
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At the earliest, Eastern Europe to adopt euro in 2008
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German banking experts are saying that none of the 10 Central and East European states that are candidates for membership in the European Union is likely to be able to introduce the euro before 2008. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/34778


ECB to hold rates steady, says Duisenberg
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The European Central Bank is unlikely to make any changes to euro interest rates for some time, ECB chief Wim Duisenberg told the German financial daily Boersen-Zeitung recently. There were good reasons to believe the euro recovery would continue, he said. The quickening pace of slowdown in the American economy has prompted the euro rise, he told the newspaper: "We are seeing falling oil prices but not as strongly as we had hoped. We are also seeing that that the euro's exchange rate does not appear to be falling, as was the case for a long time."
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/34764


October Industrial production down 0.1% in euro-zone
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Seasonally adjusted industrial production decreased slightly by 0.1% in the euro-zone in October compared to the previous month, according to Eurostat figures. This follows a gain of 0.6% in September and of 0.4% in August. Production in the EU15 fell by 0.4% in October, after
an increase of 0.7% in September and of 0.5% in August.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/34641


Commissioner calls for fiscal discipline
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Strong fiscal discipline in EMU and employment-friendly taxes are key policies to realise the EU's objective 'to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world', according to Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner, Pedro Solbes. In a 21 December Communication, he called on EU member states to improve the quality and sustainability of their public finances.
While the objectives of the Stability and Growth Pact, which commits EMU members to sound budgetary policy are in theory being met, the Commission is worried about emerging evidence of a pro-cyclical loosening of the budgetary stance. The Communication identified four challenges for all EU countries: maintaining strong fiscal discipline, speeding up progress towards more employment friendly tax
and benefit systems, re-orienting public expenditure to areas promoting a knowledge-driven economy and ensuring healthy public finances over the long term.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/34551


Brussels hosts talks on regulating 'financial conglomerates'
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The Commission on 19 December launched talks with industry and other interested parties on the future regulation of 'financial conglomerates' - single financial bodies offering a range of services such as banking, insurance and securities. A consultation document set out the Commission's view on the key elements necessary in
upcoming legislation in this field. Comments received by 10 February next year will be taken into account in the drafting of a proposal for a new directive in this area, to be published in the spring. The Commission said its aim of one wholesale financial market and open and secure retail markets cannot be achieved without 'state-of-the-art prudential rules and supervision'.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/34373


Euroland inflation hits 2.9%; EU up to 2.6% in November
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Annual inflation rose to 2.9% in November from 2.7% in the previous month -according to Eurostat. A year earlier the rate was 1.5%. Inflation rose to 2.6% in the EU, from 2.4% in October. In November 1999 it was 1.4%. Highest annual rates were in Ireland (6.0%), Luxembourg (4.5%), Spain (4.1%) and lowest rates were in the United Kingdom (1%), Sweden (1.8%) and France (2.2%).
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/34365


Euro-denominated bond market - monthly note
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The latest monthly note on the euro-denominated bond market, issued by the Commission, shows a shift down in the euro yield curve by 20 basis points in November. Total issuance of euro-denominated bonds in November was EUR 93 billion. This was significantly less than the EUR 111 billion recorded in November 1999.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/34123


Internet Monitor
================

Nice European Council
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The Presidency conclusions of the European Summit at Nice on 7-9 December 2000 are now available for download in PDF format (134Kb).
http://europa.eu.int/council/off/conclu/dec2000/dec2000_en.pdf


Banking Supervision Committee reports
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The European Central Bank has released two reports prepared by the Banking Supervision Committee (BSC): 'Mergers and acquisitions involving the EU banking industry - facts and implications' and 'EU banks' margins and credit standards'.
Details available at http://www.ecb.int/


EMU diary
---------
Sweden takes over presidency of the EU, 1 January 2001
European Parliament first plenary session 2001, 15-18 January, Strasbourg
Ecofin Council, 19 January, Brussels
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Community
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Any Answers?
------------
Thanks to Richard Bishopp for helping Bruce Kitsch with his question about what percentage of a non-EU company must be held by whom to bid for EU projects.

Answer these questions, or post your own, in our Any Answers section.
http://www.eubusiness.com/anyanswers/

Workshop
--------
Due to diary clashes between our expert panellists, we had to cancel our Innovation in Europe online discussion forum in December, with many apologies. We hope to hold a workshop on government regulation on the Internet in January and euro notes and coins in February. If
you are interested in taking part, or would like to be one of our panel of experts, please email Wendy Jones at
mailto:wendy@eubusiness.com
http://www.eubusiness.com/workshop/

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