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In the Opinion adopted by a majority with 5 votes  against and 14 abstentions
on 26  October 1995 the  European Economic and  Social Committee (ESC)  fully
endorsed  the  Commission's  move  to  facilitate   transition  to  a  single
currency.  Transition should  be  as speedy  as  possible, taking  account of
actual market conditions.

The ESC stressed  the need to examine the  situation in those countries which
are  granted  derogations  and  to  monitor   the  stringent  application  of
admissibility criteria.

It also insisted on the urgency of fixing the  starting dates and duration of
the  various phases of transition to a  single currency. Once established, no
variation should be allowed.

The introduction of the  ECU is likely to disturb the financial, monetary and
securities  markets. The  ESC points  out  that a  gradual transition  to the
single  currency is  therefore desirable,  by adopting  economic measures  as
well as determining a legal framework  to underpin the currency and guarantee
the legality of operations carried out.

Transition to the single currency will  also have to be backed by measures to
familiarize  consumers  with  this  new  concept:   training,  education  and
communication strategies are  a vital prerequisite to inform consumers of the
aims and details of implementation.

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