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Report: Euro Conversion To Costs Business $500 Billion

Large European companies, including the subsidiaries of major U.S. groups, expect to spend more than $56 million each converting to the euro, Europe's common currency. That is five times the cost of swatting the millennium bug, according to a survey by KPMG, the business services company. Total cost of euro conversion in Europe is estimated at $500 billion. The new data has been used in Britain as a new argument against joining 11 other countries already inside so-called "Euroland." Sterling, a British anti-euro campaigning group, issued this statement: "This is a huge bill -- and nobody can see where the gains will be." Systems experts in Euroland report that adapting business practices, such as supply-chain management, to the euro is more complex than coping with the Y2K bug. Information technology (IT) experts are increasingly hard to recruit as Europe nears the January 2002 deadline to introduce euro notes and coins. IT personnel are already at a premium as European companies increase their commitment to e-business.

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