EU / Euro / NATO
Watching the European Union meeting the other day, I realized
that I always get confused as to who is a member of the EU and
which nations adopted the euro, as well as the membership for
NATO. So for the first time ever, anywhere, StocksandNews is
providing you with one consolidated list...and some brief
commentary. CLIP AND SAVE!
The European Union...member states
Belgium (entered 1951)
United Kingdom (1973)
EU member states participating in the common currency (euro)
Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland
Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain
EU leaders agreed last weekend in Sweden to complete talks for
accepting new members by the end of 2002, which would make
them eligible to join in 2004. France and Germany had resisted
setting target dates. Following are the twelve that will be under
*Turkey had been on a list back in 1998 but the economic
turmoil in the country over the past few years makes membership
unlikely by 2004.
Benefits of EU membership include a single set of trade rules, a
single tariff, and a single set of administrative procedures, which,
it is hoped, improve conditions for investment and trade. Of
course, the fact that you give up some of your cultural identity
and political freedom, as faceless bureaucrats make decisions
affecting your life, isn''t supposed to enter into the equation.
As for the euro, for the first time since the Roman Empire, 12
nations who throughout history have met on the field of battle
about a hundred times, agreed to abandon their national
currencies and adopt a single monetary unit.
But, according to a recent poll, only 42% of those affected seem
aware that the changeover takes place on New Year''s Day 2002.
This September, the dozen Euroland partners will begin
distributing some $565 billion in euros, which will be dispersed
to every bank, business and small shop across the continent.
Needless to say, it''s a monumental task.
The biggest concern is security and the transporting of the
money. Said one expert, "We know there are armed bands ready
to attack the armored trucks, and we know that they are waiting
for the euro because they are not going to trouble themselves
with francs they may not be able to get rid of." [Source: U.S.
News & World Report]
*In case you''re wondering about the ''spacing,'' it''s for those who
are printing out the lists.