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Euro campaign launched - EMUbusiness Issue 15

EMUbusiness - Issue 15
14 March 2001
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EMUbusiness top stories
1. Play safe by cashing legacy currency cross-border cheques by early next year
2. BASDA warns against being misled by software vendors' claims
3. German consumers will have access to loose euro coins late this year
4. France to modify date of winter sales
5. Belgians torn on compulsory dual price display

Publisher's Note
It is an advertising agency's worst nightmare to be required to develop a slogan which works in 11 languages and 15 cultures. Consequently, if 'the EURO. Our money', the slogan for the European Central Bank's information campaign, seems safe rather than inspired, that is hardly surprising. What is more important is that the campaign and the accompanying website at have now gone live. The ECB has now also taken to the road with conferences in each euro-area state to raise awareness. Awareness-raising begins at home, however. ECB President, Wim Duisenberg, seemed to us noticeably less at ease answering questions on the introduction of notes and coins (and counterfeiting) when he met the European Parliament last month than he was in talking about the
economy. But successful introduction of the notes and coins is crucial to a fully functioning economy early next year. So it is to be hoped that he quickly gets up to speed.

Marion Bywater
Publisher, EMUbusiness

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1. Play safe by cashing legacy currency cross-border cheques by early next year
Banks are reserving the right to handle on a 'collection' basis cheques in euro-area national currency units (legacy currencies) presented for encashment in another country after February 15, 2002. That presupposes that the cross-border cheque was written before January 1 next year. Cheques written in national currency units after December 31, 2001, will anyway not be valid.
Full story:

2. BASDA warns against being misled by software vendors' claims
BASDA, the Business Application Software Developers' Association, is warning against being misled into thinking software meets its EMU accreditation standards. It says it has observed an increase in the number of accounting software suppliers who are claiming to comply with the BASDA EMU specification and implying that they have the
BASDA accreditation when they have not. "Currency conversion is a big enough problem for everyone without making it worse by not using accredited software," the Association says.
Full story:

3. German consumers will have access to loose euro coins late this year
Germany will let private individuals acquire loose change as well as starter kits of euro from mid-December this year. While this might appear like a minor change, it is actually a major breach in the approach adopted so far across the euro area. With the exception of Ireland, every country has prepared small starter kits of coins which
consumers can purchase, but none had so far envisaged making coins available in loose form.
Full story:

4. France to modify date of winter sales
Next year's winter sales in France will be shortened so that their end coincides with the end of legal tender status of the franc, French Minister of Economy and Finance Laurent Fabius announced last week. The sales are also likely to start a few days earlier than usual. The objective is to minimise problems during the introduction
of euro notes and coins.
Full story:

5. Belgians torn on compulsory dual price display
The Belgian Minister for Economic Affairs, Charles Picque, will take a decision in July on whether to make dual price display compulsory in Belgium later this year and/or early next. Consumer associations in Belgium have been calling for this, but retailers favour a voluntary approach.
Full story:

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.

Coming up in euro-impact
National communications campaigns get under way; Italian
shops with unconverted cash registers may not be able to open on 2.2.2002; more charities announce plans to collect obsolete coins; further moves to strengthen Eurogroup; Germany considering reverse dual price display. All these items will be covered in the next issue of euro-impact.
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Other stories on EUbusiness in March

Ecofin agrees UCITS directive for EU's fund industry
EU Economic and Finance Ministers have agreed details on undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS), a directive which aims to increase market efficiency and safeguard consumer protection in the European fund industry. The UCITS directive is considered an important step towards establishing an internal market for financial services in Europe.
Full story:

0.7% fourth quarter rise in Euro-zone GDP
GDP for the fourth quarter of 2000 in both the euro-zone and the whole of the EU (EU15) rose by 0.7%, according to first estimates released on 8 March by Eurostat. Compared to the fourth quarter of 1999, euro-zone GDP rose 3% and EU15 2.9%. A strong rise in imports and exports was recorded end 2000, with the trade, transport and
communication sectors showing the highest growth.
Full story:

EU economic growth in 2000 'best for a decade'
The EU achieved in 2000 its best economic growth performance for a decade, with job creation continuing at a rapid pace, the Commission announced in a report on implementation of its broad economic policy guidelines (BEPG). While headline inflation in the EU rose owing to
higher prices for imported goods (including in part as a result of the weaker euro), the report also showed that underlying inflation
remained low. However, EU countries should have seized the chances offered by strong growth to enhance their underlying fiscal position, says the Commission.
Full story:

Industrial producer prices up in euro-zone
The euro-zone industrial producer price index rose 0.1% in January 2001 compared with the previous month, but the index for the whole EU remained stable, according to Eurostat figures released on 7 March.
Full story:

EU retail trade volume up by 2.5%
The volume of retail trade gained 2.5% in the whole of the EU and 1.7% in the euro-zone in December 2000, compared with December 1999, says Eurostat.
Full story:

EU business still cautious but confident - indicator
EU businesses are cautious about the economy but still confident, according to the latest results of the Commission's business climate indicator, which showed a 0.95 drop in February in the euro-zone.
Full story:

Latest stability programme updates
The Commission has given its recommendations on updated stability programmes for Spain, Luxembourg, Portugal and Belgium. The Stability and Growth Pact, adopted by the Amsterdam European Council in June 1997, requires countries participating in the euro-zone to present updates of their stability programmes to the Council and the Commission. These were reviewed by the Ecofin Ministers on March 12.
Spain full story:
Luxembourg full story:
Portugal full story:
Belgium full story:

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:

Internet Monitor

Euro area key indicators
These tables - updated before each Eurogroup meeting of ECOFIN ministers - present the most relevant economic statistics concerning the euro area.

Structural Reforms annual report 2001
The Economic Policy Committee's 2001 Annual Report on Structural Reforms is now available for download from the Economic and Financial Affairs DG's site:

Implementation of 2000 Broad Economic Policy Guidelines
The "Report on the implementation of the 2000 Broad Economic Policy Guidelines" gives an account of how well the 2000 and earlier Broad Economic Policy Guidelines have been carried out.

ESC adopt economic policy opinions
The European Economic and Social Committee has adopted a package of economic policy opinions including: Co-ordination of economic policies as a consequence of EMU; Macroeconomic performance indicators; Broad economic policy guidelines 2000; Structural indicators. Details from:

EMU diary
Justice/Home Affairs Council, 15-16 March, Brussels
Informal Ecofin Council, April 20-22, Malmö
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