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British Warming to the Euro

The Conversion of the “Euroskeptics”

Panorama, (centrist newsmagazine), Milan, Italy, Nov. 2, 2001, Translated and posted to Worldpress.org, November 30, 2001

In two months the new unified currency will be a new reality for almost 300 million people. Starting from Jan. 1, 2001, euros will also land across the Channel. Whether or not the British like it, some big distribution chains have decided to accept euros as ready money.

And these big distribution chains have announced that in their various stores it will be possible to pay with the new European currency, as already happens with U.S. dollars. Among the big distribution chains participating in this initiative are Harrod's, Marks & Spencers, Dixons, Selfridges and Virgin.

This initiative has taken place in order to make life easier for the thousands of tourists and students that invade the various British cities every year, but also the life of the many workers that commute between London and other European cities.

According to a survey conducted in October, 50 percent of the Britons would be willing to renounce British pounds. This shift in desires and intentions is mainly due to the popularity of Tony Blair, who has recently clearly come back to support the European unified currency.

But that's not all. According to the research conducted by Gartner Consulting and commissioned by NCR, 73 percent of British retailers declare to be "ready for the Euro." 83 percent of those retailers will accept the unified currency as a means of payment and one third of those retailers will be even able to give change in Euro. "A very positive sign," the European Vice-president of NCR, Alberto Camuri, has remarked, "Because the retailers have understood the customers' point of view and problems and have thus considered the Euro more as an opportunity than as an inconvenience."

After all, according to that survey, European tourists bring about £6 billion into the pockets of the British. And more than half of shopkeepers are worried that they will lose their customers:customers might decide to go shopping in more euro-friendly shops
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