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Gordon Brown plays it cool on euro - EMUbusiness - Issue 22

26 June 2001, 23:39 CET


EMUbusiness - Issue 22
27 June 2001
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EMUbusiness top stories
=======================
1. Message on wider benefits of Europe should accompany euro cash
2. Cost of low-value payments to come down
3. Euro to hit supermarket sales
4. Early book money conversion creates space for euro cash introduction
5. Print workers protest at prospect of euro-related job losses


Publisher's Note
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While most commentators concentrated on the euro-caution in the major speech by U.K. Chancellor, Gordon Brown, at London's Mansion House on June 20, a careful reading suggests this is very much one side of the coin. Emphasis has been placed on the fact that Brown promised that the assessment of whether Britain meets its own five self-imposed economic tests was rigorous. Surely no one doubted it. Less attention was paid to the pro-European nature of the speech. Brown played up the benefits of European Union membership, sounding much like a man who believes that winning a referendum on the euro is a two-stage process in which the electorate have to be persuaded first of the virtues of the EU. The other argument he was seeking to win was whether this is an either/or choice between being close to the EU or being close to the United States. "The more Europe and America work closely together, the better it is for Britain, Europe and the world," he said. This is not to say that Brown is not trying to have his cake and eat it or that he is a closet believer in the euro, but there was nothing in the speech which would prove he is not.

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

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1. Message on wider benefits of Europe should accompany euro cash
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Introduction of euro notes and coins should be used as an
opportunity to hammer home to the general public messages about the advantages of European integration according to Belgian Finance Minister, Didier Reynders. Reynders, who will chair the Ecofin Council for six months from July 1, clearly shares the concern of a number of other European leaders and many commentators that the EU is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of public opinion. He wants to remind people that much of what they take for granted, such as ease of travel around Europe, has not always existed.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/51093


2. Cost of low-value payments to come down
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Banks predict the cost of transferring small amounts of money across the euro area will come down sharply at the beginning of next year providing the European Commission grants approval for the so-called multilateral default interbank fee. The banks plan to introduce this flat fee of EUR 3 for fully automated cross-border credit transfers on January 1 next year to coincide with the introduction of euro notes and coins.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/51095


3. Euro to hit supermarket sales
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Supermarkets face a significant loss of custom when the euro notes and coins are introduced at the beginning of next year according to new research in the Netherlands for retail businesses. Whereas supermarkets might expect to attract additional customers because consumers have more trust in them not to cheat them in pricing and change, the build-up of queues associated with introduction of the euro even without the extra customers could be counter-productive. Aisles will be blocked and customers will turn round at the door of clearly overcrowded supermarkets and go elsewhere.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/51096


4. Early book money conversion creates space for euro cash introduction
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Businesses and banks should clear the decks of book money
conversion to the euro by October this year in order to leave a good buffer for the organisation of the cash changeover, France's Central Bank Governor, Jean-Claude Trichet, told an EFMA conference in Paris on June 25. French bankers at the same conference stressed the importance not only of staggering the book money and cash changeovers, but of staggering the different elements of the book money changeover.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/51097


5. Print workers protest at prospect of euro-related job losses
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Several hundred print workers from thirteen European countries demonstrated in front of the European Central Bank on June 19 to protest that the introduction of the euro is threatening their jobs. A delegation of representatives of bank and printing work unions handed over a letter to the European Central Bank's Director-General of Personnel expressing their fears that the EU
principle of subsidiarity will not be observed in allocating orders for banknotes in future and that jobs and skills will be lost as a result.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/51098

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These articles are provided by Euro-impact. Euro-impact is a monthly newsletter on the regulatory, practical and strategic impacts of the euro for companies. Articles may be reproduced with acknowledgement of the source and Euro-impact. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the information is correct at the time of writing. http://www.euro-impact.com
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SPONSOR'S MESSAGE
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Coming up in Euro-impact
Dual price display in Belgian supermarkets up to scratch, but other businesses lagging; France changes rule on share capital redenomination; interoperable electronic purse will miss its date with introduction of the cash euro; Eastern Europe prepares for cash euro; anti-counterfeiting framework finalised.
All these items will be covered in the next issue of euro-
impact. For subscription information
http://www.eubusiness.com/finance/euroimpact.html .
June highlights: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/50099
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Other stories on EUbusiness in June
======================================

ECB says euro-zone inflation may have peaked in May
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European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg said Thursday it was "not unlikely" that inflation in the euro zone had peaked in May.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/50668


Euro-zone shows April trade deficit of 3.0 billion euros
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The first estimate for euro-zone trade with the rest of the
world in April showed a EUR 3.0 billion deficit compared with a surplus of EUR 0.2 billion in April 2000, the EU's statistics office Eurostat reported.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/50498


Euro-zone inflation soars to 3.4%
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Euro-zone inflation soared to 3.4% in May, its highest level since 1993, the EU's statistical office reported on 18 June. The figures showed a sudden boom in prices from April's 2.9% inflation level in April which Eurostat blamed primarily on higher energy prices.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/50275


Euro introduction will impact the east
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The euro will change the lives of people living in Western
Europe when it is introduced into circulation next year. But it will also affect people living in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, where the German mark is widely held and used as a transaction currency.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/50295


Euro-zone inflation soars to 3.4%
--------------------------------
Euro-zone inflation soared to 3.4% in May, its highest level since 1993, the EU's statistical office reported on 18 June. The figures showed a sudden boom in prices from April's 2.9% inflation level in April which Eurostat blamed primarily on higher energy prices.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/50275

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This newsletter is produced in association with FEE, the
Federation des Experts Comptables Europeens. FEE is the
representative organisation for the accountancy profession in Europe. It is a "non profit" organisation which groups together 38 professional bodies from 26 countries, including all 15 Member States of the European Union and the 3 main member countries of EFTA.
The FEE Euro Information Service is at: http://www.euro.fee.be
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Internet Monitor
================

Cross-border payment charges and pension fund
---------------------------------------------
The Financial Services Policy Group, comprising personal
representatives of EIS Finance Ministers, took place on 19 June in Brussels. The Group discussed a final report by the Swedish Presidency, cross-border payment charges, pension funds and capital adequacy.
Details


Holiday 2001 - "Don't forget to pack the euro"
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The aim of this Enterprise DG leaflet is to boost use and
testing of payments in euro by tourists.
Download it from Europa


EMU diary
---------
10 July, ECOFIN Council, Brussels
20 July, Budget Council, Brussels
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