Retailers want to delay euro

  • 2005-09-14
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - The Lithuanian Association of Retail Trade Enterprises said it was against introduction of the euro on Jan. 1, 2007, and would instead urge the government to phase in the common currency slightly later.

"The period before the New Year stands out with active Christmas trade. If the retailers are to reshuffle their cash-desk systems at that time, the trade might run into unnecessary hurdles. Perhaps the companies would even be forced to close one or another trade center," Valdas Sutkus, LPIA executive director, said at a news conference last week.

He added that the two-week transition period proposed by the Bank of Lithuania should be rejected, as costs for LPIA members alone would total some 10 million litas (2.9 million euros). Sutkus urged authorities to avoid any additional problems that may result from the switchover.

"The transitional period is related with largest costs, traders' mistakes, complaints by consumers, and additional safety," the LPIA executive noted.

Reinoldijus Sarkinas, head of the Bank of Lithuania, claimed that the transitional period was necessary, and the traders would have to adapt. "The period was applied by all countries, it is particularly useful for rural residents who live far from banks and who may run into problems. In Vilnius, meanwhile, they will be able to exchange the money at any time," he told the Baltic News Service.