A midst all the fuss and panic over the past few months in the build up to the launch on the euro on Tuesday, has anybody ever thought why the euro is called the euro. The answer can currently be found on the terrace, over looking the bay of Illetas. Although Norman Eatough has received no recognition of his suggestion to the European Monetary Institution on July 18, 1995, the announcement by the EMI that the new single currency would be called the euro just a few weeks later is somewhat of a coincidence. Norman Eatough, originally from Blackburn, but based in Lausanne working for the European Nuclear Research Organisation/Partical Physics at the time when France and Germany started arguing over the name of the single currency. I was irritated by the screams from the French that it has to be Le Franc and from Germans, the Marc.
I thought this was not the way forward for Europe and let's have a name that is simple and that everyone can pronounce in the same way, Eatough, at his Majorca holiday home, said yesterday. He says that the name euro just came to him and he wrote the letter recommending that the single currency should be called the euro to the EMI. I did not follow it up at the time, but the point is that a matter of weeks later, the euro suddenly emerged from the undergrowth as the new name. So I can only conclude that someone pinched the idea, he laughs and said nothing. Recently I have sent the letter with a covering letter to the European Central Bank, the successor bank to the EMI as it was then, saying that if you dig around you'll find this letter and I would appreciate a little bit of ack nowledgment, Eatough explained. As I say I can't prove anything, but to me it's no coincidence that the name suddenly appeared as adopted, he adds. Having named the euro, does Eatough agree with the euro? Well, as I say in the letter without wishing to discuss the merits or demerits, he ominously answers. But having lived and worked in Europe for 37 years Eatough has a more balanced view of the euro future. We've actually touched our little package of euros, the starter pack, and I had my first experience of an actual transaction when I went to a petrol pump here and had to multiply by 166 and that was yesterday. Do I agree with it? Well, I hope that it will prove to be a unifying feature, but I am aware of problems of one imposed interest rate for everybody and it has already appeared that it does not suit everybody, they think they're in a straight jacket and can't get out of it. Sceptical? No. I'm a wait and see, I'm not sceptical, but like a lot of people, I think we'll have go along with it and hopefully it will make it, Eatough says. We certainly don't want a disaster do we? he adds. But he believes that Britain is right to wait and see. There is still a certain amount of apprehension in Europe, but the euro creep he says will keep on creeping.
If it works, that's fine....but I just named it.