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Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Business ill-prepared for the euro
German euro promotion campaign
Germans dress as euros to promote the changeover
Many small and medium sized businesses in the eurozone have made little or no progress since January in preparing for the transition to the euro at the end of this year, a European Commission survey has found.

Only one in four small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the eurozone are ready for the euro, almost exactly the same figure as in January, the latest Eurobarometer FLASH survey found.

About 10% will not be able to conduct business in euros after 1 January 2002 - again the same proportion as at the beginning of the year.

But the findings are not all bad, only 15% of SMEs now think it is too soon to prepare for he euro compared with 23% in January.

Time to prepare

"Those who start the second half of the year reasonably well prepared will be in a much better position than their competitors," said Erkki Liikanen, member of the Commission responsible for enterprise and the information society in a statement.

The survey also found that 61% of SMEs have begun to show prices in euros but 8% said they will not invoice in euros until after 1 January 2002.

That means these businesses have not yet realised that this date is the deadline by which all transactions must be in euros.

The fourth Eurobarometer FLASH survey on SMEs and the euro was conducted in April in the 12 eurozone countries, using a sample of 2,832 enterprises. An SME is a business with less than 250 employees.

See also:

16 Nov 00 | Business
MPs warn on euro costs
12 Feb 01 | Business
Euro cash tough to launch
17 Jul 00 | Business
Euro warning for finance ministers
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