A Euro perfume was in the air last week at the first session of 2009. Have you ever smelled the Euro? It carries the sweet smell of success; it is the buoy that now protects a Europe deep into a financial and economic crisis. The Euro is a European baby born naturally with a struggle ten years ago - a strong symbol of Europe which, among others, helps keep the European inflation rate at around 2%. The young Euro is behaving well!
But that was not a foregone conclusion. Born amid huge scepticism but regarded as a necessity, its success today is quite solid. A European currency that can remain stable and come second in the world’s currency league is no mean feat! And the Euro has sold well over the past decade. Ten countries adopted it at the outset, now there are 16 of them!
Could it be that even the British are wavering? At any rate Richard Corbett from the PSE noted at his press conference on Tuesday, 13 January:
"Perhaps against all odds, Britain is talking about joining the Euro. Some of our politicians have started to draw attention to the economic cost of being outside the eurozone."
He went on to explain the disadvantage of the current situation for Britain. "Firstly, we lose on the currency conversions and on the hedging costs (insurance taken against radical exchange rate variations) in our commercial exchanges. Secondly, we don't attract foreign non-EU companies to establish in the UK as we are not located in the main EU currency zone."
His conclusion: "Provided the economics are right, I believe we should join the
That explains why everyone was talking about the Euro in the corridors of the EP last week. They celebrated its birthday with great pomp and circumstance at a plenary sitting in the presence of its many parents; then there was a seminar on its role in the current economic and financial crisis, duly attended by your humble Newshound reporter who did not entirely understand the learned words of the specialist press about market trends.
Finally, on Tuesday evening, President Pöttering invited the Euro’s family to a dinner held at the renowned Strasbourg restaurant the Palais des Rohan. Alas, despite my
best efforts to convince the organisers of my love for the Euro and my relationship with it, I was not invited to sample the Alsatian specialities under silver cloches.
As a consolation, I met the Euro in the canteen, on my place mat, on posters, at the European Central Bank exhibition and at the exhibition by a French university lecturer on the cultural game she has created, in which the Euro is the hero.
So I have to say, despite the rather gloomy mood engendered by the financial crisis and the gas and Gaza crises, happy birthday and, as a schoolboy might conclude his essay, long live the Euro!"
Pass me the sick bag!