LondonNet News Headlines
|Bankers Back the euro|
- Europeans attack bankers agents in Gothenburg
BRITAIN would gain economically by joining the euro, according to top City bankers Lehman Brothers.
Conflicting signals within the UK government hierarchy suggest Prime Minister Tony Blair has yet to decide when, or even whether, to hold a referendum on joining the euro over the next four years, but reports such as the one by Lehman Brothers are likely to increase pressure in business circles for him to do so.
Lehman Brothers say annual growth rates would be higher for Britain inside the euro zone rather than outside. In 2003, according to the bank, GDP growth would be 2.8 per cent with the euro and 2.7 per cent without. In 2004, that gap would widen, Lehman believe, leaving a growth rate of 2.6 outside the euro and 3.1 inside.
The fact it is Lehman Brothers extolling the virtues of the euro should be read with some caution, however. As leaders of European countries facing the wrath of thousands of anti-EC campaigners in Gothenburg can testify, there is a large body of opinion that sees the EC as little more than an unelected clique, governed economically by the narrow concerns of the bankers.