an area of the map for world news.
March 2002 issue of
World Press Review
(VOL. 49, No. 3)
The Advent of the Euro
from seven newspapers in seven countries
The New Zealand Herald (centrist), Dec. 29: Even
the euro’s champions say coordination at present is pitiful.
And many of them secretly doubt whether the pact is any better
than moral persuasion at forcing spendthrift governments to
toe the line....The question is: Will this hankering for a beloved
national symbol pass, as consumers see the benefits of a single
currency? Or could it snowball into deep resentment, something
that could block or even reverse the process of European unity?
Sofia Sega (liberal),
Jan. 5: Weep for the Finns! A can of Coke in their country
costs three times as much as the same one in Madrid, while a
standard French auto is 50 percent more expensive. Now, when
goods are measured by a single European currency in all 12 EU
member states, the price differences are becoming apparent....But
for the euro-zone people, the advent of the new currency may
amount to a miracle, because it is the first step to price uniformity,
to a complete economic and even political integration....So,
the euro-show goes on.
Accra The Mirror (government-owned
weekly), Jan. 12: Have African leaders taken note of events
in Europe? Africa is the poorest and the least developed continent
that would benefit a lot from the harnessing of resources. But
it seems most of the countries are [too] divided on colonial
or ideological lines to worry themselves about pooling resources
and working toward integration. At the time that rich and powerful
nations of Europe are celebrating a common currency, African
countries are being torn apart by conflicts. Her leaders do
not have any vision and are more engrossed in schemes that would
keep them in perpetual power.
Frankfurt Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung (conservative), Jan. 13: [The euro] won’t help
Europe out of its current economic misery, although this is
what a lot of people are currently hoping....In light of the
still unfavorable economic situation across the globe, 2002
is likely to be another weak year in the euro zone.
Riga The Baltic Times
(weekly newspaper), Jan. 10-16: The introduction of the
euro caused few waves in the Baltic states, but did raise questions
about the countries’ future entry to the EU. With Latvia, Lithuania,
and Estonia all hoping to join the EU by 2004—just in time for
the 2005 parliamentary elections—all three are facing their
own euro introduction in 2006. All 10 candidate countries are
getting a preview of how replacing their own currencies might
work, while the EU is solidifying its stance on requiring all
new entrants to accept the euro as their tender.
Madrid El País (liberal),
Jan. 18: Anti-Europeans are wrong in their deprecation of
the euro process and European integration because they are afraid
of losing national identity, or because they do not want to
renounce age-old hegemonic pretensions....Either we are weak
with dispersion and confrontation, or we are strong within the
Union. We need to remember that the euro is an instrument for
this project, a tool, not an aim in itself; and it is not a
London The Independent (centrist),
Jan. 1: The British electorate will only be persuaded that
adopting the euro is a good idea if someone persuades them....This
year must therefore be...the year in which the prime minister
and his chancellor at last hold an adult conversation with the
British people about why the euro will be good, not just for
their pockets but for their souls.