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Dutch get euro ready - EMUbusiness - Issue 19

EMUbusiness - Issue 19
16 May 2001
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EMUbusiness top stories
1. Duisenberg invited to baker's on New Year's Day
2. Dummy euro coins for those with limited access to information
3. Dutch government departments on track with euro preparation
4. Half Belgian businesses will change over only at last minute

Publisher's Note
At last some good news on the euro preparations front. The Dutch government has reported in an upbeat fashion on the state of play in its public sector. This is particularly heartening because as recently as six months ago, it still had some 'problem children'.

The extent to which the laggards have caught up shows that
strengthened project management can achieve a great deal of
preparation for IT conversion in a short time. The Dutch government is not complacent, however. If a department is not planning what it will do if things go wrong, this is regarded as a risk factor.

Marion Bywater
Publisher, EMUbusiness

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1. Duisenberg invited to baker's on New Year's Day
European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg has been invited by European Parliament President Nicole Fontaine to go together with her to buy bread on New Year's Day next year. The invitation was issued by Fontaine to draw attention to her belief that small shops and their customers will face major problems next year if consumers are not allowed access to EUR5 and 10 notes in the last few days of this year.
Full story:

2. Dummy euro coins for those with limited access to information
Pedro Solbes, EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, has formally handed to representatives of groups with sensory or intellectual disabilities the first sets of euro tokens to help familiarise these groups with euro coins. The European Commission has produced 37,000 sets of tokens containing what are effectively replicas of each of the euro coins. The Commission has previously distributed 28,000 kits containing dummies of the new euro banknotes
produced by the European Central Bank.
Full story:

3. Dutch government departments on track with euro preparation
All Dutch central government departments will be ready by mid-year to start testing their IT systems for their readiness to change over to the euro later in the year. There are still risks and problem sectors, but the Dutch government is globally optimistic that the conversion will not pose major problems. Once tests are completed, there will be a freeze on any other changes to most systems until the euro conversion is actually complete.
Full story:

4. Half Belgian businesses will change over only at last minute
Around half the Belgian businesses questioned in a recent survey plan to wait until January 1 next year before keeping their accounts in euro. Only 29.2% have already made the switch according to a survey by Artesia Bank.
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
Update on French retailers' hopes for cash changeover; Mixed response from German banks to piggybank-emptying campaign; Latest survey on Spanish business preparations; progress towards interoperable e-purses; post-dated cheques require special solution in Greece.
All these items will be covered in the next issue of euro-impact. For subscription information .

Other stories on EUbusiness in May

Foreign money transfers set to remain costly with euro
Arrival of euro notes and coins will not in itself be enough to bring down high charges for small electronic money transfers between countries in the euro zone.
Full story:

European Central Bank lowers rates
At its meeting on 10 May, the governing council of the European Central Bank decided to lower the key euro-zone interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.50 per cent. The Bank said it was reacting to lower inflationary pressure over the medium term, foreseeing that inflation would now fall below 2% in 2002.
Full story:

Banks drop charges in face of cartel action
The decision by some Dutch and Belgian banks to drop currency exchange charges for euro notes prompted the Commission to drop its cartel proceedings.
Full story:

Industrial producer prices up 0.1% in euro-zone
The euro-zone industrial producer prices index rose by 0.1% in March 2001 compared with the previous month, according to Eurostat. Equivalent prices remained stable in the 15-nation EU.
Full story:

Will the real euro please stand up
The death of the virtual euro and the birth of euro notes and coins on January 1, 2002 could herald the arrival of a stronger, more credible single European currency, experts say.
Full story:

Euro-zone retail trade up 1.2% in February
The volume of trade in the euro-zone increased by 1.2% in February compared with the same month last year, according to latest figures released by Eurostat, the EU's statistical office. Retail trade over the same period in the whole 15-nation EU showed a 1.9% rise.
Full story:

Brussels ends currency exchange probe of two banks
EU competition authorities have ended their cartel probes of high charges levied by two banks for exchanging euro-zone currencies. The Commission has called off cartel investigations into Germany's Bayerische Landesbank Girozentrale and the Ulster Bank, owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, after the banks agreed to abandon certain fees, including minimum charges, of EUR 2 and EUR 2.5 respectively, for exchanging euro-zone currencies.
Full story:

Economic confidence falls in April in euro-zone & EU
Economic confidence dipped in the euro-zone in April by 0.2
percentage points, and also fell by 0.4 percentage points in the EU, according to the latest business and consumer survey by the Commission. This was the fourth month in a row both areas reported decreases. As a result the economic sentiment index dropped to 102.1 for the euro-zone and 101.9 for the EU.
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

More corporate bonds, larger bond issues in euro
Euro corporate bond issuance in April 2001 increased sharply relative to one year earlier while most other sectors experienced a decline in issuance, according to the latest Commission monthly note on the euro-denominated bond markets.

Transition to the euro - bank survey
Results of a survey made by the Commission among 36 large European banks to highlight their choices on issues related to the changeover to the euro, from the early changeover of bank accounts to the cost of exchange in 2002.

European Central Bank monetary decisions
Latest interest rates decision + Duisenberg press release.

ECOFIN minutes
Minutes of the last ECOFIN meeting in Brussels on 7 May.!!!&BID=93&DID=66374&GRP=3447&LANG=1

EMU diary
28 May, Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, European Parliament
- Monetary Dialogue with ECB
5 June, ECOFIN Council, Luxembourg
19 June, ECOFIN Council, Luxembourg
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