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Witnessing a milestone in European history
[1 Edition]
The Herald - Glasgow (UK)
Author: Young, Alf||||||on Tuesday
Date: Jan 1, 2002
Start Page: 17
Abstract (Document Summary)

They conveniently forget that industrial Germany and industrial Japan still managed to grow their export markets when the mark and the yen were at peak strength. But that's an argument for another day. For now, the euro arrives in tangible form as the economies of the eurozone 12 are slowing fast and output in the largest single member state, Germany, is actually shrinking.

Wim Duisenberg, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), predicts overall eurozone growth of only 1% in 2002, with most of that growth coming much later in the year. So the euro is born in unpropitious economic times. And if its introduction proves to be a widespread excuse for profiteering by marking prices up, the kind of inflationary and other worries already widespread in Germany could proliferate.

Certainly Tony Blair, in his new year message, reiterated how important it is, for Britain, that the euro succeeds. But when one of the most pro-euro members of his government, Peter Hain, the Europe minister, starts calling British europhiles "crazy" for urging some decisive UK leadership on euro membership, you just know the Blair government is greeting the euro's material arrival, with another bout of the jitters.

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