an area of the map for world news.
Warming to the Euro
The Conversion of the
(centrist newsmagazine), Milan, Italy, Nov. 2, 2001
Translated and posted to Worldpress.org
Nov. 30, 2001
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 retail 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 retailers 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 British
cities every year, but also the life of the many workers who
commute between London and other European cities.
According to a survey conducted in October, 50 percent of 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 returned to airing his support for the European
But that's not all. According to the research conducted by Gartner
Consulting and commissioned by NCR, a Japanese computer company,
73 percent of British retailers say they are "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 Vice-President of NCR's European
operations, Alberto Camuri, has remarked, "Because the
retailers have understood the customers' point of view and problems,
[they] have thus considered the euro more as an opportunity
than as an inconvenience."
After all, according to the same survey, continental European
tourists bring about £6 billion into the pockets of the
British. And more than 50 percent of British shopkeepers say
they are worried that they will lose continental customers,
who might decide to go shopping in more euro-friendly shops.