Summary: At their last chance before the changeover to the single currency, the EU Farm Ministers managed to overcome the last remaining reservations on the European Commission's two June 10 proposals for Council Regulations aimed at dealing with the agri-monetary consequences of the introduction of the Euro on January 1, 1999, and voted on them with a qualified majority in favour (only Italy voted against) at the Council on December 15. The two proposals, laying down agri-monetary arrangements for the Euro (permanent system) and transitional measures for the introduction of the Euro, to which only slight modifications were made at the Council, will now come into force on January 1, 1999. The new system, which will take over from the old green rate system and should be simpler and more transparent, is expected to lead to considerable savings for the CAP budget.

As of January 1, 1999, green rates will disappear and EU institutional prices and aids will be fixed and paid in Euros for the 11 Member States joining the single currency (the "ins"). Only those Member States that will not be joining on January 1 (the "pre-ins": the United Kingdom, Greece, Sweden and Denmark), an agri-monetary system will still be in place providing for the conversion of amounts set in Euros into national currencies. The new simpler system for the "pre-ins" will be based on the daily exchange rate...

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