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Euro hits the road - EMUbusiness - Issue 26

05 September 2001, 12:50 CET


EMUbusiness - Issue 26
4 September 2001
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EMUbusiness top stories
=======================
1. German companies slow to trade with IBM in euro
2. Unions call for more European dialogue on changeover pressures
3. Coin collection in full swing
4. A U.K. euro referendum is winnable
5. France puts prices under the microscope
6. Cash-in-transit costs rocket in Germany

Publisher's Note
================
The euro has hit the road - both metaphorically and literally. Last week the European Central Bank unveiled the security features which make a major difference between the reproductions we have seen so far and the real thing. In the last few days, armoured trucks and trains launched the biggest peacetime logistical exercise ever: distribution of more than 50 billion coins and 14 billion notes to go into circulation on January 1 next year. As European Central Bank President, Wim Duisenberg, said: this was a moment when the flow of history was present.

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

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1. German companies slow to trade with IBM in euro
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German customers of IBM are lagging behind those in other
countries in their willingness to deal with the company in
euro. Whereas only 2% of IBM's Portuguese customers have
specifically stuck with the escudo since IBM contacted all
customers in the original euro-area earlier this year saying that it would move to transacting with them in euro unless they had objections, 30% of German customers have remained with the Deutschmark.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56992


2. Unions call for more European dialogue on changeover pressures
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Unions are seeking a meeting with European Social Affairs
Commissioner, Anna Diamantopolou, and Eurogroup Presidency
Finance Minister, Didier Reynders, to stress the difficulties introduction of the cash euro will cause for a wide range of workers. Unions represented by UNI-Europa met European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner, Pedro Solbes Mira, in July and meetings with Diamantapolou and Renders will be a follow-on from there. After the meeting with Solbes, Bernadette Tesch-Segol, the Regional Secretary of UNI-Europa said "the Commission cannot ignore that workers will play a key role in the transition period, and should encourage dialogue and concertation."
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56996


3. Coin collection in full swing
--------------------------------
Charities and central banks are now falling over themselves, sometimes in competition and sometimes in tandem, with new campaigns to persuade the euro-area public to hand over their small change. New initiatives or revamped campaigns have recently been announced in Austria, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56997


4. A U.K. euro referendum is winnable
-------------------------------------
There has never been a British opinion poll in which a majority came out in favour of euro membership, so winning a referendum on the euro is at best an uphill task if the current government chooses to tackle it. But it is not an impossible task according to a new report from the Foreign Policy Centre.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56998


5. France puts prices under the microscope
------------------------------------------
France has announced stepped-up monitoring of price increases following a wave of reports that introduction of the euro is behind a number of recent price rises. French Finance Minister, Laurent Fabius, believes that France has its inflation generally well under control, but admits that there have been exceptions. He thinks that the euro is sometimes being used as an unjustified pretext and is seeking to allay the public's fears.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/57000


6. Cash-in-transit costs rocket in Germany
------------------------------------------
The cost of introducing euro notes and coins will be much higher in Germany than initially anticipated according to the cash-in-transit industry. The German industry association, the Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Geld- und Wertdienste e. V. (BDGW), has warned that insurance premia have either already risen "drastically" or are about to and that other costs will also have to be passed on as well if many firms are to remain solvent.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/57002


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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
***********************************************************
September 2001 highlights from Euro-impact: Rising fears about rising prices; Italians likely to follow French and Spanish is committing stable price promise to paper; pan-euro-area wage bargaining has been slow to take off, but that does not mean it will not happen; It is almost too late to order euro-converters; German retailers and consumers attack German banks for pushing too much of the burden of the cash changeover on to shops. The latest issue of the monthly newsletter on the impact of the euro can now be downloaded for GBP 55 + VAT.
http://www.eubusiness.com/item/52937 . For subscription
information http://www.eubusiness.com/finance/euroimpact.html .
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Other stories on EUbusiness in August
=====================================

"No general evidence" that euro changeover raises prices: Commission
---------------------------------------------------------
The Commission has found "no general evidence" that prices are going up because of the changeover to euro notes and coins at the end of the year, said a spokesman for EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Pedro Solbes.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56896


Public remain wary of euro
--------------------------
Public knowledge about the euro continued to increase in the euro-zone in une and July, but at a snail's pace. According to the Commission's latest Eurobarometer survey, 73% of those questioned know the 1 January 2002 euro introduction date and 53% consider themselves well informed. But 66% expect cheating on prices and only 45% think there are more pros than cons to the euro.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56893


Euro gala debut gets single currency show on the road
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The euro's cash debut had as much theatre as a central bank can muster, with the single currency finally stepping from the wings onto centre stage in Frankfurt.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56770


IMF to lower euro-zone growth forecasts: report
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is to lower its economic growth forecast for the euro-zone in 2001 to 2.0 per cent from an earlier estimate of 2.4 per cent, the Financial Times Deutschland said last Friday.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56715


European Central Bank unveils design for euro currency
------------------------------------------------------
The European Central Bank on 30 August unveiled the design of the new euro banknotes, which enter circulation in January. At a press conference in Frankfurt, top ECB officials highlighted security features built into the final versions of the notes.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56664


Euro-zone interest rates cut by a quarter point
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The European Central Bank cut interest rates on 30 August by a quarter point to 4.25%. The decision was taken in response to falling inflation and slower growth, explained ECB President Wim Duisenberg.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56652


Euro membership inevitable, says British minister
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Britain's minister for Europe Peter Hain believes the European single currency is "marching on" and suggests membership is inevitable, British media reported on 30 August.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56623


Banks' lack of preparation for euro could affect service
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Many retail and investment banks are not yet ready for the euro changeover, according to software company Misys. Customer service could be badly affected, many staff need training, and standing orders and direct debits must be changed, it warns in a report.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56544


Irish Central Bank staff to get euro bonus
------------------------------------------
About 200 workers at the Irish Central Bank will receive a bonus payment for the extra work involved in producing and
distributing euro notes and coins, a spokesman said last week.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56512


Swiss brace for euro impact from abroad
---------------------------------------
Swiss isolation in the heart of Europe will become ever more apparent from January 1 when the single currency makes its debut in all of the country's major neighbours.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56339


Luxembourg PM says euro is an answer to globalisation
-----------------------------------------------------
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said in an
interview that the European single currency was an answer to the globalisation of the world economy.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56337


Euro zone current account deficit narrows in June
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The euro zone posted a current account deficit of 800 million euros (730 million dollars) in June, down from 1.3 billion euros 12 months earlier, the European Central Bank said on Thursday.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56161

======================================================
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
===========================================================


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

A guide to the ECB's monetary policy
------------------------------------
The European Central Bank (ECB) has published an introduction to its monetary policy, which deals with institutional aspects of ECB policy, principal economic and financial structures of the euro-zone economy, and implementation of the Bank's monetary policy.
Full story: http://www.eubusiness.com/item/56535


Reproduction of euro banknotes
------------------------------
The European Central Bank has amended the rules for the
reproduction of euro banknotes. ECB press release:
ECB

EMU diary
---------
22-23 September, Informal ECOFIN Council, Liege
16 October, ECOFIN Council, Luxembourg
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