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BS: Should UK join the Euro ?

McGrath of Harlow 09 Dec 01 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,=QQ= 08 Dec 01 - 07:28 PM
Ringer 08 Dec 01 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,=QQ= 08 Dec 01 - 12:00 PM
John MacKenzie 08 Dec 01 - 11:39 AM
EarlofSidcup 08 Dec 01 - 09:54 AM
Gervase 07 Dec 01 - 11:06 AM
Wolfgang 07 Dec 01 - 10:38 AM
Ringer 07 Dec 01 - 09:38 AM
Wolfgang 08 Nov 01 - 06:48 AM
Ringer 08 Nov 01 - 06:28 AM
GUEST 07 Nov 01 - 08:07 PM
Wolfgang 07 Nov 01 - 01:50 PM
Ringer 02 Jul 01 - 07:56 AM
mooman 01 Jul 01 - 07:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Jul 01 - 07:20 PM
R! 01 Jul 01 - 04:58 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Jul 01 - 04:30 PM
vindelis 01 Jul 01 - 04:25 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 30 Jun 01 - 10:23 PM
GUEST,hot potatoes ... 30 Jun 01 - 02:47 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 30 Jun 01 - 11:47 AM
Terry K 30 Jun 01 - 02:02 AM
mooman 25 Jun 01 - 12:19 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 25 Jun 01 - 11:30 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jun 01 - 11:05 AM
Wolfgang 25 Jun 01 - 09:00 AM
Ringer 25 Jun 01 - 08:32 AM
Ringer 21 Jun 01 - 11:46 AM
Fiolar 21 Jun 01 - 11:28 AM
Wilfried Schaum 21 Jun 01 - 11:00 AM
Fiolar 21 Jun 01 - 10:03 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 21 Jun 01 - 08:55 AM
Steve Parkes 21 Jun 01 - 03:41 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Jun 01 - 04:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Jun 01 - 04:09 PM
JedMarum 20 Jun 01 - 02:56 PM
Grab 20 Jun 01 - 02:16 PM
Wolfgang 20 Jun 01 - 02:11 PM
Ringer 20 Jun 01 - 01:58 PM
Snuffy 20 Jun 01 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,nick 20 Jun 01 - 09:09 AM
Wolfgang 20 Jun 01 - 08:50 AM
pavane 20 Jun 01 - 08:01 AM
Ringer 20 Jun 01 - 08:00 AM
Wolfgang 20 Jun 01 - 07:33 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Jun 01 - 06:52 AM
dr soul 20 Jun 01 - 06:34 AM
Ringer 20 Jun 01 - 05:10 AM
Terry K 20 Jun 01 - 04:21 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 08:01 AM

Whatever happens about referendums and formally joining it and all, it's pretty certain that within a few months the euro is going to be in circulation in England and accepted as valid currency, and prices in all kind of places will be displayed in euros as well.

If traders and shops think they are going to lose custom by refusing to deal in euros, they are going to deal in euros.

It's a pity they gave it such a silly name though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: GUEST,=QQ=
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 07:28 PM

Hello, Mr Eagle.

Thank You for reading and commenting on my rant, very impressed that anyone has spare valuable time.

Since your thinking is deep and well read you should go and read some more on Banking, esp Costs and Benefits of Single Currency.

I don't need to do any of this since I can see, and would really blind not to, that is costs less to administer, is portable and last but not least is Neutral to all.

The other issue, ignored here, is that World Trade is tending towards a single currency anyway. It most certainly will not be the Pound Sterling!

So instead of becoming enslaved to a joker nation, the USA I choose, notice I have a choice only becuase the UE exists, not to embrace the Dollar but instead the Euro.

Purely self interest here not a Politcal decision. The Euro circulates in a Market of 300 Million with potential for 1 Billion. The Dollar is the Currency of the New Roman Empire, whose aim is Christainize, then enslave the entire world so that it's citizens may enjoy ever increasing material wealth. The UE does not aim at any of this silly nononsense, instead it aims to broaden free trade amoung Democratic States. IOW It's aims are Economic not Political.

I have no intention of trying to persuade any from their opposition to, their deep entrenched views about the UE. Instead I intend to be amooung the British Pioneers who reap the very high rewards of getting stuck in from day one.

Thank You for reading my reply.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Ringer
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 03:14 PM

Sorry, Wolfgang, I have no more information on the survey than I posted, but I don't argue with your thesis that the answers allowed to survey questions can affect the results. I posted without comment, as much to keep this thread alive as for any other reason, but it appears to me that the site I linked puts an overly rosy slant on results which could be interpreted somewhat differently: eg if 30% of British youth have a jaundiced view of Europe, presumably 70% feel either positive or neutral about it (or "don't know"). And how do you come to get your hands on euro cash early?

No, QQ, I am not American, but English. I chose my nom de plume, Bald Eagle, because it was a nickname bestowed upon me by someone I admire, which my daughter then picked up and ran with. You are not alone in having been misled by my chosen name, and in retrospect it was a poor choice.

You are also misled in thinking that my anti-Europeanism (I'm not actually anti-Europe, merely anti-EU and fervently anti-euro) is based on pro-Americanism. At least, I think that that's what you think, but your elaborate sarcasm really interferes with my understanding of the points you try to make. In fact, I am anti-EU because it seems to me that another tier of government is unnecessary, particularly a tier that seems to be run for the sole benefit of politicians and bureaucrats, is undemocratic, corrupt and opaque.

You claim that the only arguments for joining (or not) the euro are economic, not political, but you ignore the quotations from leading European politicians that I cited above which imply the opposite. The most important argument against joining, imo, is that to join would be to give away control of our economy, and that argument is more political than economic (paradoxical though that may sound).

If the argument is to be based on economics, then lets hear the economic arguments. I list several above against joining: do you refute them?


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: GUEST,=QQ=
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 12:00 PM

The replies are very interesting, and with due reverence to the Mighty Lord of Kent, I respectfully disagree!

The Bald Eagle, is this fellow an Amurican?, is, from the beginning of time, opposed to anything that belittles US World Domination by the recently SELECTED Emperor, Georgio the Turd, Coke Dealer, failed assassin/coward and idiot.

The 'NO Euro' views I read, a vast majority, see the BBC Forum, present all kinds of reasons, some good others sillier than a Pig at Ascot!

Few see the obvious up front advantage that traveling and Business in the Market will be easier thus impoving the prosperity of all. These are the same kind of British People who put us on the Frontier of Science, Technology and Economy when Britain was still Great. Again, the nay saying 'dog in the manger' mentality is drowning that point of view. I note with great sorrow the story of the Morris Motor Co, and how it both produced world beating Cars yet was destroyed by such jealousies.

Anti Euro case is always made upon hidden results, if you join 'the following bad things will happen including death by Mc Donalds generic food malnutrition' insert your value here. As if we are not able to figure it out for ourselves! Read my horrid English, I CAN THINK, READ THE NEWS for myself... and thank you for your concern.

Our Islands are very well able to decide this one based upon A letting Ireland try it out, and B if that works well making the decision, allbeit with certain reservations that protect the Pound until we are absolutely certain we will gain from the adoption.

NOT.

Reading Robert Schumans writings enables me to see something else here, I agree with Winston Churchill 100%, this is about Economy NOT Politics. It never was and tell you what, it never will be! If as the Amurican Euroscetpics argue our European Community did begin to meddle with Nationalities, diminsh our diverse and beautiful Cultures, then truely it has failed. Schuman's opinion, not mine. Accordingly the EU should be closed down, abolished, deleted etc and the weak economies ought to have their poulations comit suicide giving their land and property to the millions of Amuricans waiting at Gatwick in cheap hotels, smoking Pot, having sex parties, drinking weak Murican Beer, and posting Murican Propaganda on the Internet.

Seriously, the UK as a satelite of the USA scares, -Muricanism here- the freaking bejeebers out of me! Imagine thousands of Ladinos after they have reduced the US west coast to 3rd world poverty arriving at British Ports in 747s. Imagine them taking your jobs, living by the dozen in one room flats ALL OVER the Uk and Ireland. Imagine the reality of suddenly realizing that the photos overcompensate for color, these people are darker shade of brown! How would you cope? Are your ready to eat Tacos, drink Toquilla, eat Magic Mushrooms, snort Cocaine, kill your family with a Machette? If so then go with the wise, caring, concerned and pervasive Amurican, Uncle soft Voice Sam = SNAKE in yer head!

The Pound as a lone currency, the Commonwealth etc Sorry I am so sceptical it hurts! Who remembers the background of the Irish War of independance? Who remembers that the Commonwealth could have done the right thing and didn't. Who remebers that during the Potatoe Famine the most concerned international agency was a Native American Nation! Who can figure out where Britain begun the slide from The British Empire to the lowly UK?

Rather here is what I see, the Anti Euro camp wins, the UK continues to wobble toward the bottom as a world economy and Good Ole Uncle Sam =snake in yer head, comes to the rescue and the Pound is tied to the Dollar, yup Britain finaly and sadly again enslaved for the first time in nearly 2000 years. Tacos made in Texas from low quality Maize becomes the only food available to British people while the fine grade British grain is annexed and shipped back the the US to feed the ever increasing population of life prolonged retiree's who also conume 99.999999% percent of the world's most vaulable resources. You may eat generic Soy Beef Burgers at Mc Donalds in Worthing, the Murican Citizen in Mc Donlands Washington eats grade one Irish Beef, and guess what, he pays LESS for it!

Instead, I would vote for Europe not America, because in Europe I am by law and right a Citizen of the Continental Community. BUT In America I would be just another resident Alien. In Europe I can be a proud Briton, but in America just another member of the dwindling minority of fair skinned people, called Gringos. In Europe I could continue to expand Enterprise and create job, instead of in the USA having to apologise to the Bank Business Associate for NOT letting her come into my premisses - since her boy friend is a petty thief.

The Euro it is not just about Economics, but economics constitute the bulk of it's benefits.

I say without any reservation or doubt that we the British should join the Euro. Vote or no, I will support it, and if it is rejected, move into the Euro zone to reap the benefits which the US Dollar can now no longer offer.

Have a Nice time, Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas

Old Muddie member ... now too creaky to sing or pick


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 11:39 AM

I see the euro sadly as an inevitability, and I for one will be sorry to see the end of sterling. With any luck I'll be dead by then,hopefully pre-deceased by TB.
Why does it not seem to have occurred to the EU to balance the exchange rates for each currency till they become a fraction of 100. We could then print one side of a note with whatever we want, £,DM,FFR,or whatever, and the other side with the equivalent amount in euros. There you are, your own currency, European currency,and the ability to compare prices exactly all rolled into one. Plus less chance for the profiteers to artificially inflate prices.It would work for me!!
Failte.....Jock


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: EarlofSidcup
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 09:54 AM

I am very confident that before Britain has a referendum on joining the Euro, the currency would have got itself into deep trouble and that the French and Germans at least will be very angry about it.

A news item on BBC recently said that 75% of the Portugese had no understanding of the changeover that will be upon them in a few days.

It will all end it tears, mark my words!


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Gervase
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 11:06 AM

Last week's Economist had an excellent supplement on the ligistics of the changeover to the Euro in those states contemplating it in the New Year.
And, like so much else fogging the issue, once one looks at it clearly, it ain't such a big deal (other than Tesco's in Ireland havign to reinforce their floors to cope with the extra small change for three months!).
There's an index of the Economist's coverage of the Euro here - and so far I've seen little to make me rreject the idea of joining and much to commend it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 10:38 AM

I've followed your link, Bald Eagle, but the small print I am interested in was missing (as so often in any popularised reports about surveys): Was there more than one reponse allowed or not? If not, you ask e.g. the people to state what they think the EU will bring and only to name one of e.g. ten preselected alternatives. Then any response in the more than 10% region would be a success. If yes, some of the response percentages are really very low.

However, without that information, I just hold back any comment that I might have.

Wolfgang (looking forward to the first real Euros to touch in exactly ten days)


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Ringer
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 09:38 AM

Lifted from here.

The Spring 2001 edition of Eurobarometer has recently been published, with a special survey on young people's attitudes to the EU. The most stark result is that young people in Britain view the EU as heading towards the creation of a single government for Europe. In effect, a superstate.

The survey questioned 10,000 young people aroung the EU, and 778 in Britain. They were asked 'which of the following best describes what the European Union means to you?' Most of the permitted responses were predictably all intended to be positive propaganda for the European Union, but a few opportunities for criticism crept in,and the results were as follows:

  • 235 Britons (30%)felt that the European Union did not mean anything to them.
  • 200 Britons (25%) felt that the European Union meant 'a European Government'.
  • 73 Britons (10%) felt that the European Union was best summed up as 'a lot of bureaucracy - a waste of time and money'.
  • 80 Britons (10%) felt that the European Union represented 'a risk to our cultural diversity'.
In contrast, traditional Europhile arguments got short shrift from Britain's youth. The argument that 'the EU guarantees lasting peace in Europe' was accepted by just under 10% of respondents. The claim that the EU meant 'securing a better future for young people' found only 62 supporters out of the 778, and even after months of misleading Britain in Europe propaganda, under 20% thought the EU was a way of creating jobs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 06:48 AM

Article about allergy reactions to Euro coins.
Only the two big coins will contain nickel in quantities comparable to the currencies they< replace. The hard core of the critique is that the governments' tales that the new coins are 'hypo-allergenic' are at best meaningless propaganda.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Ringer
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 06:28 AM

I heard a funny(?) story the other day: apparently the new euro coins are minted from a high-nickel alloy, and nickel allergy is one of the most common allergies. The article I saw predicted that many shop assistants & bank tellers (those handling currency all day) would come out in painful lumps. Is there any truth in this, or is it just another of those euro-myths (euro-mythtakes?)? What are US nickels, the coins, made of?


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 08:07 PM

I imagine being sensible they'll just call them "centimes". And being French they'll push for everyone else to use the same word, and they'll probably succeed. It's a more comfortable word on the mouth anyway. "Cent" always sounds too abrupt.

Actually what they should do is give people the option of keep the national terms, when they change the money. So in England the Euro would be called the pound (or quid), and the cent would be a penny in France it'd be the franc and the centime, and so forth.

I can't see it'd be much more confusing - they could alsways call them New Pounds and New Francs. Or even Euro Pounds and Euro Francs, if it made peole happier.

I think that in England half the opposition would melt away overnight.

In fact there's no reason shouldn't just do it that way regardless. The same way for a century or so people in England used to call shillings "bobs", and five bob was "a dollar" - and the "quid" has never been an official term for the pound anyway; and the Sapnish talked about "duros" even though officially there wasn't such an denomination.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 01:50 PM

Harrods, Marks and Spencer, and several other London shops have announced today they will accept from next year on the Euro as currency "as part of our service". But they still accept the Pound until further notice (grin).

The French have a problem with the Euro that was unforeseen. The small change under the Euro will be the cent (100 cent = 1 Euro) and now they realise that 'cents' and 'cent' are homophones. So if you ask for a price and you think it is a bargain at 'cinq cents' (5 cents) you might also consider the possibility that what was said was actually 'cinq cent' (500).

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Ringer
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 07:56 AM

Rowana: I don't think that the government has ever published an analysis of the costs and benefits of joining. I freely admit that the major reason for my antipathy towards joining is "gut feel" rather than analytical-intellectual, but I'll use whatever economic arguments I can to make my case. And the fact that the powers that be haven't made an economic case leads me to suspect that there is no such case to be made. And, JinH, although such folks as Ghosn (sp?) of Renault/Nissan claim that if the UK doesn't join they'll relocate onto the continent, the UK still attracts the lion's share of inward investment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: mooman
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 07:24 PM

Yes McGrath...I'd go along with that. The "Euro" does vaguely sound like something from a public lavatory...!

mooman


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 07:20 PM

One thing that's true is that a common currency would make it a lot harder for shops and other people in England to rip people off, as they do at present by charging such inflated prices on pretty well everything. Tourists just wouldn't buy it, and nor would holidaymakers coming back again. Different currencies sort of anaesthetize you against recognising that kind of thing. "It's not real money" is how you always tend to feel.

I'm dubious about a lot of things about the EU, but having a common currency just seems like a sensible idea. A common world currency would be better.

So I think the Irish probably got it right - accept the euro without a fuss - and dig in on things that really matter.

Only thing is, as with the change from LSD, it's going to mean a lot of explanations about songs. And pound is a much better word fro rhyming, which is a bugger of a rhyme word.

I think they should change the name and instead call the common currency "the Quid" - which would mean that most people in Britain would accept it cheerfully. And it is a good Latin word, so should have excellent transcontinental street cred.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: R!
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 04:58 PM

Currency issues aside, everying I've read dave me the impression that the UK will enjoy very little benefit - and shoulder a great deal of burden - by joining the EU. These were rather conservative, oh-for-the-good-olde-days publications alarmed at all the changes but surely there must have been a grain of truth there. Is it true that the UK will lose more than it gains? If so, why join? I've been perplexed by this for quite a while.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 04:30 PM

I post in haste, and have been meaning to make a considered effort on this thread for a couple of days, and the thread keeps growing and I havn't kept up so if I am ignoring or duplicating anyone, sorry.

We have already seen, in the UK, a time when interest rates needed to be cut to provide economic stimulation in the North East, but that was not economically wise for the overheated economies in teh CIty of London (the financial sector).

If we joint the Euro, the situation will be the same but worse - if one part of the EU has a vital economy, those with depression in another cannot be helped by the use of interest rates without risking inflation.

End of story for me. Btu I'm not a capitalist. A capitalist might say that the suffering of those who suffered was necessary to create a stronger overall economy and to allow for "trickle down". I dont't believe a word of it. Greed and selfishness are usually recognisable whatever label they are given.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: vindelis
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 04:25 PM

I have just spent two weeks in Ireland and I can say for certain, that I for one, will be voting againt in any referendum on the Euro. If the UK were joining on 1 Jan 2002, based on the current value of the Euro, on the open market, every man, woman and child in the UK would see an overnight devaluation of 14 percent on the money in their pocket. (The Euro is currently trading at 61p Sterling, and we would still be expected to pay 70p sterling for each Euro in our pockets. Just thank God that you're not Irish and have to stump up 78.7564 pence for the same thing. (Pushing thirty percent inflation at today's rates). The people I have spoken to all feel thaty have been conned. Someone somewhere will get rich as a result of all this but it certainly won't be Joe Public, who will be well seen off as usual.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 10:23 PM

I think this is an important thing, I heard somewere that a boss of a car facyory said "If britain does not join the euro I will put my facyory somwere else", I think this would be a bad thing, even though it would not affect me (I am just a delivery driver).I am just thinking of other people.I also feel sorry for the man who lost 7000 pounds, I think the rich people who know a lot about money, just like to rip off the poor people,this is just my opinion I dont know much about this kind of thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: GUEST,hot potatoes ...
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 02:47 PM

Americans whether in US or EU are opposed not only to the Euro but the EU as well.

Why?

World domination that is why.

The UK and the Euro, matters not whether in or out as it looks now as if all of the continent except the UK will be in.

I see all kinds of reason not to join in newsgroups and the press, never seen one good reason yet!


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 11:47 AM

How sad but very true Terry. Same thing with voters; a few minutes of TV will very often be the only influence on them to make a decision. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Terry K
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 02:02 AM

The only way to get a serious referendum is to make Bald Eagle's economic points (oh yes, mine too) into a snappy little slogan.

Otherwise the snappy little slogan generated by the pro-Euros will win.

Government by slogan, more opiate for the masses.

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: mooman
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 12:19 PM

I have no problem with the Euro personally. I am currently paid in it. My bank is switching all financial transactions to it as of 1 July (I live in Belgium...and before anyone jumps....no I have nothing to do with the European institutions!). I also travel a lot in Europe and the currency will greatly simplify things there. We don't yet have the notes and coins themselves to spend. That will come on the 1 Jan 2002 chaos day!

When I first came here 10 years ago I sold my house in England. Not being sure of the state of the financial markets, I kept part of my money in pounds sterling and the other part in Belgian francs before we bought a house here. Needless to say, that was then time the pound got devalued by about 15% and I ended up losing about GBP (sorry no pounds sign on my keyboard) 7000 to the currency speculators! I still smart about that as it would have bought quite a few nice and still much wanted musical instruments!

So basically, anything that helps reduce the grossly inflated bank accounts and million-pound bonuses of those blood-sucking money-market parasites is fine by me and I'm in general favour of a single European currency as were supposed to be in a single European market.

As some have mentioned above, I'm aware there is an agenda amongst some of the politicians and bureaucrats for wider European federalism and integration. I'm personally certainly not in favour of that.

As for the mass "Up yours Delors" hysteria whipped up by the British gutter press, I can only say that this serves to misinform the general public, contribute towards xenophobia and fill the already swollen pockets of a small group of already fabulously wealthy moneybags. It almost renders having a sensible debate impossible.

I'm quite prepared to accept that there are valid arguments pro- and con- the UK joining the Euro but how can there be a serious referendum unless the person on the number 39 omnibus can be communicated the relevant and accurate facts in an readily assimilatable (is that a proper word?) form and can clearly understand the issues?

Best regards to all,

mooman


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 11:30 AM

Thanks for all replies, if we ever get a referendum I think I will vote No.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 11:05 AM

I think bad eagle might just have swayed me to favour joining the euro after all.

But Wilfried remarks about currency don't really connect for me. About the only time I use coins or notes these days is in pubs and at folk festivals. The actual denominations aren't that important in practice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 09:00 AM

Bald Eagle,

I know that awkward feeling. While in real life I do not mind to have the final word sometimes, here in Mudcat I'd rather not have it. This has been dealt with in the first few posts of the Kiling the thread thread.

I for one was curious about your economic arguments and am glad for your post (I do not at all mind reading an opinion I do not share), but the many specific details are just bejond my knowledge and so I decided that's it for me (I hate dilettating on fileds where I have not enough knowledge).

Sometimes most is said and I do not at all mind if a political thread stops before the nasty posts start (seems e.g. that nearly all thread about US politics end with the gun question after the hundredth post).

But with your post and my post who knows, maybe there'll be a reprise of this thread.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Ringer
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 08:32 AM

Where's everybody gone?


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Ringer
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:46 AM

OK, some of the economic arguments. Much of what follows I've lifted from Lord Pearson's paper. As a matter of interest, I agree with the noble Lord that Britain should leave the EU, not just avoid EMU. Two arguments that I don't think he cites are, firstly, our constitutional (in the sense of psychological make-up) unfittedness. Unlike the other EU nations (some more, some less), we don't like the deceit of saying one thing and then ignoring it or doing the opposite. And not only do we draft in armies of bureaucrats to police Brussels' directives, we add to their detail. Secondly, there's a lot of anti-British feeling within Europe. Mainly, I think, this is because they are aware that we had to dig them out of the mire twice in the first half of last century, and their guilt and gratitude, which their pride won't let them show, finds outlet as anti-Britishness (Ireland, of course, has its own, different, reasons for anti-Britishness); that we did it both times with America's help also accounts for the anti-Americanism to which I alluded here.

EMU's basic flaw is that one interest rate must fit 11 different economies, where mobility of labour is low (probably because there is no common language), and interstate transfers on the scale practised in the USA are non-existent. (To hold the US together, interstate transfers through the federal budget can reach 20% of a state's GDP. The EU budget is at present limited to 1.27% GDP). The Europhile claim that interest and mortgage rates would fall if we join EMU is simplistic. We would certainly be forced to accept an interest rate which would be wrong for us (look at Ireland), risking inflation (look at Ireland), unemployment and, in the longer term, higher rates than if we stay out.

The UK does not have a long-term opt out of EMU, because a number of clauses have been left in the Treaty which commit us to run our economy in a 'communautaire' way, on pain of unlimited fines in the Luxembourg Court, (eg for 'exporting unemployment' or 'unfair tax competition'). Our adherence to the EU's Stability and Growth Pact ensnares us further. (That adds weight to my argument that we should leave the EU.)

The UK's economy continues to diverge from that of the EU, although it continues to converge with that of the USA. So the pound has tracked the dollar naturally, and moved away from the euro (to be more precise, the euro has moved away from the pound).

Thanks to its labour and social policies, the EU's share of world markets is declining (down 11% over the last ten years), while that of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is increasing (up 21% over the last ten years).

If we join EMU, our eventual share of our partners' unfunded pension liabilities could amount to at least £20,000 per person or £1.2 trillion.

Britain's trade with the EU accounted for only 18.5% of GDP and was in deficit by £8.93 billion in 1999, and is in long-term decline. British exports to the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) have been growing at 9.2% a year since 1992, exports to the rest of the world have been growing at 8.5%, but exports to the EU have been growing at just 7.1%. This is despite the claimed "benefits" of the Single Market to trade within the EU. All the Single Market really achieved was a greatly strengthened Brussels bureaucracy regulating and limiting virtually every aspect of business activity.

The Institute of Directors has estimated that EU membership overall currently costs the UK between £15-25 billion each year - equivalent to £1000 per household. (Daily Telegraph, 7 February 2001)

In November 2000, the House of Commons Trade and Industry Committee (which is has a Labour Majority) attacked the government for ignoring the issue of euro transitional costs. The Government, says the Committee, is "unwilling even to discuss the costs" of adopting the euro, which is perhaps unsurprising, since the consultancy KPMG puts the total cost at £51 billion, based on responses from 300 firms that estimated the cost to them of £30 million each. The British Retail Consortium estimates the retail costs for making the changeover to the euro at around 2.5% of turnover, with smaller firms suffering disproportionately high costs. And who will bear these costs? Why, you and I will, of course. In the light of their magnitude, I regard arguments, such as we've seen above, which complain about the odd couple of quid paid in commission to a Bureau de Change, as trivial.

Britain's membership of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) in the early '90s cost one million jobs and sent 100,000 businesses bankrupt; her economy started to recover immediately she was squeezed out so unceremoniously. If you think EMU will be different, you'd better come up with some convincing arguments as to why. EMU is the ERM without the escape hatch.

There won't be a referendum on EMU unless the Prime Minister is fairly sure of winning it, but the country will go on being sucked into the quicksand of the rest of the Treaty, which we can't avoid while we stay in the EU. It's time to leave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Fiolar
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:28 AM

Totally agree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:00 AM

Hi folks,

when Europe is growing together, it should have a common currency, too. We had the same problems in Germany some centuries ago. In the old Empire nearly every Prince or Imperial Town had its own money. The nominal worth wasn't accepted, because there were some differences of weight of the coins. In 1871 all the different currencies in gold or silver were substituted by the Mark (an old name for the pound - the good Emperor Charlemagne had beaten 240 Pfennigs out of one mark silver). It worked well, and why shouldn't it do so with the Euro? As a librarian I#m doing business with outlandish sellers, and a common currency will be more convenient. Or when travelling, imagine the lots of foreign currency you have to carry with you, loosing every time when changing. What a fellow student of America couldn't understand: Travelling with us from Germany to Sicily, he had to cross the borders of 5 countries with 4 different currencies! He couldn't believe it, but Europe has so small countries. What a blessing the common currency will be!

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Fiolar
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:03 AM

Two points: (1) I don't think the people of Europe need to worry too much about the "riots" in Gothenberg. There's always a crowd of yobs who delight in joining into any passing trouble and with the internet now it is a marvellous opportunity to plan disruption. (2) Most history regarding Napoleon is looked at from the British side. Try the Irish side for a change. Suppose Napoleon had succeeeded in conquering and holding on to Europe? No Irish Famine? No Franco-Prusssian War? I could go on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 08:55 AM

I fear the consequences when people start talking about blocks of countries trading amongst themselves. The only hope for world peace and prosperity, is if we open up trade links globally. Myopic views about European, American and Asian trade blocks, becomes counter productive; insular thinking of this kind will prevent raising the living standards of other countries and truly block the ability to be objective when we try to develop international laws and standards. Just my own opinion, but think long and hard before supporting this type of block mentality. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 03:41 AM

All right, we heard you the first time! What would suit a lot of people, certainly in Britain and probably in other EU coutnries, is a confederation, which is not that different from what we have now. of course, we know where that kind of thinking can lead!

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 04:10 PM

But speaking only in terms of strength and not in what has been done with the strength, the economic and financial unification of Germany in that century was a success story."

But what is done with the strength is always far more important than the strength itself, whether you're talking about people or countries.

Personally I would like to see a Europe of strong regions, weak nations and a central administration that is purely at the service of the regions. Some of the smaller nations might count as regions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 04:09 PM

But speaking only in terms of strength and not in what has been done with the strength, the economic and financial unification of Germany in that century was a success story."

But what is done with the strength is always far more important than the strength itself, whether you're talking about people or countries.

Personally I would like to see a Europe of strong regions, weak nations and a central administration that is purely at the service of the regions. Some of the smaller nations might count as regions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 02:56 PM

Canadian Driftwood - sorry I was joking about unifying Nrth American currency. In truth, if I was Canadian I would highly resent being forced to use a currency standard set by the US. The truth is, there are times the currency difference works in your favor, and it sounds like you can take advantage of that at the moment by earning in US dollars, and spending in Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Grab
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 02:16 PM

On the "unelected front": most of the government system in any country is unelected. And that's as it should be - would you rather have professionals running government offices, or amateurs who have been elected bcos they looked pretty? Think about how well electing sheriffs worked in the southern US before you answer...

More to the point is lack of oversight from the ppl who _are_ elected to stop the empire-building. So long as the EU organisation can continue to get money without responsibility to see that it's spent correctly, I'd rather not bother. To be honest, I can't see the point of the UK being a member of the EU at all - if the money poured into that pit was channeled into healthcare and transport, we'd be in a damn sight better shape.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 02:11 PM

Bald Eagle,

I hope we'll both be still here in five years. Then we'll probably know who was right. Anyway, I'm looking forward to when you find time to tackle it from the economic point of view.

BTW, what was different (from today) from your point of view in my example from history?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Ringer
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 01:58 PM

I don't think it is inevitable, Wolfgang. For one thing, if we don't enter within the next few years (say 5), I don't think there'll be a common European currency to join. One function that sliding exchange rates perform is that of a safety-valve. If different countries' exchange rates are locked together, that self-correcting effect is lost. So Germany, now, is pressing the ECB for lower interest rates while Ireland needs higher rates to cool off its inflation. (Irish house prices, I heard, are 30% more than UK equivalents at the moment; don't know if that's true). Give it time, my son, and the sort of public dissatisfaction that was expressed in riots in Gothenburg will bring down governments and destroy the common currency. Sorry to sound like a Jeremiah: please note that my predicting and my wanting public unrest are different things.

As to your longer quotation from Chancellor Schröder, I think that though he talks the democratic talk yet he walks the federalist walk. I don't claim to hang on every word he speaks, but if he is pressing for greater European democracy and accountability, I missed it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Snuffy
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 09:13 AM

Bald Eagle, don't you mean:

So, first point: joining the Euro is to hand over our economic control to faceless, remote, unelected, undemocratic, corrupt, self-seeking, empire-building bureaucrats - but a a different lot to the faceless, remote, unelected, undemocratic, corrupt, self-seeking, empire-building bureaucrats who run it now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: GUEST,nick
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 09:09 AM

1) I live in France. Since France's currency became tied to the Euro (Jan 99) the value of what little savings I have has been reduced by 20%+. Think about that one... You have £100 in the bank - you don't touch it, and a year later, you have only £80 (and prices are still going up...) 2) The cost of changing currencies (printing catalogs, changing computers, banking, printing the notes, etc, etc - just think about it) is phenomenal. 3) When, in Jan 2002, France actually starts to use Euro currency, I guarantee you prices will be rounded UP (to the nearest 99, as in 471 will make its way rapidly to 499, etc...) 4) At present, the euro essentially works by reducing the economies of France, Germany, Italy and the rest to the lowest common denominator... If they can possibly get away with it, they will bring in Poland, Rumania, etc. The value of the euro will then be tied to the economies of those countries... Guess what? My answer to the question is NO (and by the way, I AM English...) Nick


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 08:50 AM

Bald Eagle sees correctly that the common currency will have more than just monetary or economic consequences. My consequence is different: I'd love to see more (direct) democracy on a European level so that the responsibility for decisions is with persons with faces who can be thrown out of job by elections.

Example #2 from above as a longer citation with context: The common currency is an important step on the road to European integration. But it is only a frame, a frame we have to fill with life. We need a quick and believable democratisation of the European institutions. The Federal Government [of Germany] is convinced that our Europe should not replace or abolish national identities.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: pavane
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 08:01 AM

So should we look out, in the future for Brussels to rule on
Common (Harmonized?!?!)European standards for Folk music (None of those awkward modal tunes)
Mandatory dress codes, either breeches & waistcoat or lederhosen for men
Licencing of all folk dancers
Abolition of Morris Dance as non-European


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Ringer
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 08:00 AM

EMU (Economic and Monetary Union (not, note, European MU)) is primarily a political issue: any supposed economic benefits are secondary. Its main objective, freely admitted by its key architects, is a political one - the further integration of the EU into a federal state.

*** Example 1 ***
Wim Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank: "The introduction of the euro is neither an isolated nor a purely economic event. It is another, yet very important, step in the process of European integration. ... The creation of the euro is not the end of that process either,... economists all too often assess the costs and benefits of European integration in purely economic terms". (Dr. Willem F. Duisenberg 'The Past and Future of European Integration: A Central Banker's Perspective' The 1999 Per Jacobsson Lecture, Washington, 26 September 1999).

*** Example 2 ***
German Chancellor Schröder: the Euro is "an important step on the road to European integration". (Inaugural address to the Bundestag, 10 November 1998)

*** Example 3 ***
Bank of England Governor, Eddie George (OK - he's not a "key architech"): "...monetary union is fundamentally a political project rather than an economic issue." (Speaking at the British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Basel, Switzerland, 12 September 2000).

*** Example 4 ***
Arguing that the creation of the euro entails a "federal logic", Michael Barnier, European Commissioner responsible for reform: "...the only question [is] whether the EU should be a federal state modelled on Germany, or whether it should pursue the goal of political union 'through other means'." He conceded that Britain would have "serious difficulties" with his proposals on the abolition of a national veto in all areas of policy. (speaking to a meeting of the Commission on 14 June 2000)

This political dogma of further European integration is the explanation for the willingness of European leaders to press ahead with the Euro, regardless of the economic consequences. But they know well enough that, if ordinary people were to realise the extent of their political hubris, there'd be hell to pay, so they try to sell the project on its economic benefits.

So, first point: joining the Euro is to hand over our economic control to faceless, remote, unelected, undemocratic, corrupt, self-seeking, empire-building bureaucrats. And then there are the economic arguments which I'll address in a later posting 'cos I don't have time now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 07:33 AM

Bald Eagle, you've been inviting this riposte with your picture about the rats and the sinking ship above (evil grin): Who are the British respectively the UK in this picture, the rats or the sinking ship?

Now a more serious look into history. Since the thirty years war or even earlier, in that part of Europe which later was to become Germany, there was a patchwork of statelets, Earldoms etc, with only Bavaria and, later, Prussia, playing a more than local role. They all had different currencies and taxes and tolls. On a fifty miles journey you could pass several customs. Germany played no major role in Europe. The French under Napoleon at the beginning of the nineteenth century could easily overrun Germany and without foreign (British and Russian, foremost) help, Germany would have been under French rule for a long time.

In all major economic indices of that time, Germany was way behind a country of comparable size, that is Britain, despite having more inhabitants. During the second half of that century the picture radically changed and Germany overtook Britain in many indices of productivity. In other indices, Britain was still in front, but the increase was higher in Germany. What had happened?

In 1838, most countries of Germany entered what we now call a common market (Zollverein was the word then), with abolishing tolls and customs within Germany and simplifying and fixing the rates between currencies. In 1871, a single currency was introduced in Germany and it was a success story despite the loss of sovereignity for the individual countries. The growing strength of Germany went hand in hand with the economic unification.

Well, I can understand if some of you say in hindsight you'd preferred all in all a week patchwork Germany to a strong unified Germany (was it a French or a British politician who said: 'I love Germany that much that I can't have too many [parts] of them'). But speaking only in terms of strength and not in what has been done with the strength, the economic and financial unification of Germany in that century was a success story.

So will the Euro and sooner or later Britain will join, reluctantly.

Dai, I can't help you with your question.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 06:52 AM

There may be good reasons to worry about some things about the European Union - worries about things been done centrally that should be done locally, and multi-national companies being given a free hand to exploit people in Eastern Europe as a price for entry, and a reduction of smaller countries to second and third rate status. (See the article in today's Guardianby George Monbiot.

And those were the kinds of things that people were voting against in the Irish referendum last week when tghey threw out the Nice treaty.

But the actual currency is a diversion from all that -"save the pound" would make sense if it referred to weights and measures, which are far more important in daily life than currency. I'd have voted to keep LSD, partly because I was aware of the fact it referred to Roman currency and was a symbolic reflection of European unity. But that's long gone - "Save the L" - what the 'ell...


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: dr soul
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 06:34 AM

Excellent thread, ya'll.

Please think seriously about the changes that might be necessary to make this happen, and the possible effects on the institutions of Great Britain/England/the rest of the European continent.

My mental map for thinking about institutions:

At the core of society are PEOPLE - individuals, their families, and homes. Any given society has a certain TECHNOLOGY and language. Language will nfluence attitudes about other institutions. Technology is also a prime mover - a change in technology will bring about changes in other social institutions.

There are four primary types of social institutions - government, economy, social welfare, and ideology/beliefs.

GOVERNMENT institutions are how a social group makes rules, selects leaders, and resolves disputes. Government institutions include the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of legitimate governments, as well as the "illegitimate" institutions of political parties, lobbyists, vested interests, etc.

ECONOMIC institutions are how the society makes a living - i.e. agricultural activity, credit institutions (such as banks), the degree of industrialization, the nature of cooperative capital, land tenure, types of industries a county has, etc.

SOCIAL WELFARE institutions are how the society educates its young, takes care of its old, and deals with its indigent and infirm members.

IDEOLOGIC institutions provide values and philosophies. They include organized religions, as well as various philanthropic insituions.

So, as to whether "Should the UK join the Euro?", think of . . .

What institutions will be affected by this decision?

Do the benefits of doing so offset the adverse institutional impacts?

[good luck, mate!]


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Ringer
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 05:10 AM

...when I have time...

Incidentally, JinH: TB has not exactly promised us a referendum within 2 years; he's only promised that the decision on whether or not to offer us a referendum will be made within 2 years -- strictly, he has said that the Chancellor's "5 tests" will be considered and, if they indicate "pass" then we'll get a referendum. But these 5 tests are entirely subjective, there's nothing quantitative in them at all; how, for eg, can you decide whether it'd be a good thing to join if you don't know the proposed joining rate? Anyway, my objections are much more fundamental than these 5 tests or any question of exchange rates: we'd be giving away freedom. There has been (almost - Dave the AM above is an honourable exception) no discussion of the issue of sovereignty, either in this forum or in the British press (which latter I consider to be culpable for not holding the British Government to account). And I find this strange, 'cos it's the most important thing. For one thing, it's open-and-shut fact whereas the economic benefit is questionable in the extreme. Who was it who said "Those who surrender liberty in exchange for economic gain deserve to lose both"?. (Got a bit carried away here -- hope you noted my restraintin my first posting above. This is not yet my considered reply.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Should UK join the Euro ?
From: Terry K
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 04:21 AM

Grab, you're right, the fear is that there is more likelihood that joining the Euro will harm us than that it will help us. (Incidentally, Italy is quite massively industrialised!).

My biggest concern is that the referendum vote will be carried by totally unqualified people who quite obviously don't know - and can't know - the real issues. It will therefore be decided on emotional or "gut feel" grounds instead of economics.

The economic keys are interest rates and inflation. With a history of high and widely fluctuating interest rates and inflation rates (mainly because we are a property based economy) we will relinquish several of the tools we currently use to maintain stability. The result will be that when we our economy reverts to its "normal" behaviour, we will simply get fewer Euros out of the common pot. Economic suicide - forget all the emotive side issues.

As to the Commonwealth - ah yes, those were the days. But unfortunately they are'nt any more. I much preferred our lamb trade to be with the New Zealanders instead of with the French.

Cheers, Terry


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