With the UK not being one of the 11 European countries in the first wave of the euro, companies outside the finance sector have been left wondering when to start preparing systems in earnest for multi-currency operations.
Many companies and industry bodies are saying that the UK should not enter until the time is right, some say never. Opinion is divided as to when to commit resources to the conversion process and just how much is required.
Bigger companies are understandably alarmed at the prospect of spending millions re-engineering their systems only to find that the UK does not enter. Alternatively, they dread being caught with their trousers down, struggling against the clock and spiraling salary demands.
One recent report, based on a Treasury working paper, caused more jitters by suggesting the gap between the UK announcing its intention to join and locking interest rates could be a little as eight months.
** For the full story on the challenge of Emu, see today's analysis section **
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