Have We Been Left out in the Cold with the Scraps?; Guy Newey and Elizabeth Clark Look at How Parts of Europe Have Embraced the Euro -and Jonathan Walker Examines Gordon Brown's Influence

The Birmingham Post (England), August 7, 2003 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Have We Been Left out in the Cold with the Scraps?; Guy Newey and Elizabeth Clark Look at How Parts of Europe Have Embraced the Euro -and Jonathan Walker Examines Gordon Brown's Influence


Byline: Guy Newey and Elizabeth Clark

It was on New Year's Day 2002 that a large slice of Europe embarked on the largest monetary changeover the world has ever seen.

One notable absentee was the United Kingdom and, according to former Tory Conservative Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine, its loss was Europe's gain.

'The introduction of the euro for over 300 million people in 12 countries will give European people a much wider choice of goods and services at lower prices as enhanced competition helps the best companies and drives out the worst, he declared.

'But it will also put British customers, citizens and companies at a psychological and competitive disadvantage for which we will pay a price.'

But 18 months down the line, as the Government continues to stumble and prevaricate over entry, have we been left out in the cold, fighting for scraps from the European table?

The huge fanfare and optimism for a new age of European partnership has turned sticky as the slowing world economy has taken its toll on the major eurozone partners, France and Germany.

The major difficulty facing the two largest euro economies is the strict set of economic rules they created for themselves in the Stability and Growth Pact. They were implemented to ensure that 'profligate' smaller nations in the eurozone did not spiral out of control, undermining the credibility of so-called prudent members of the currency zone. But as France and Germany face high unemployment and slow growth, the draconian rules have come back to haunt them and they are calling for reform.

At the same time, the 'Celtic Tiger' Irish economy has required greater controls to prevent it over-heating.

The recent conclusion of a European Commission report into the pact confirmed Commission President's Romano Prodi's infamous conclusion that the over-tight rules were 'stupid'.

But while the member countries scrap over economic complexities, how is the euro affecting consumers in Birmingham, the Second City of the European Union's second economy?

Birmingham International Airport and the city centre Marks and Spencer branch are the two most high-profile euro-accepting outlets in Birmingham, but the retailer reports an insignificant amount of trade in the new currency.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Have We Been Left out in the Cold with the Scraps?; Guy Newey and Elizabeth Clark Look at How Parts of Europe Have Embraced the Euro -and Jonathan Walker Examines Gordon Brown's Influence
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?