LOCAL authorities in the European Union are unprepared for the introduction of single European currency notes and coins next January, even though they have a crucial role in spreading information among small businesses and community groups, the European Commission has claimed.

Pedro Solbes, EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, said in a speech to a conference in Pontassieve, Italy: "The success of any Euro changeover preparation would depend on the degree to which it would manage to engage local actors and the citizens ...

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