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ref date:3 Jan 1999 (EU)
Germany hails Euro London bemoans it- as usual

EUROPEAN politicians caused a storm in Britain yesterday with claims that the introduction of the euro marked the start of a further drive towards deeper EU political integration.

An angry Tory reaction to comments by the German minister for Europe, Gunther Verheugen, underlined the problems facing Tony Blair as the Government pursues its efforts to persuade the electorate to back British entry into the euro.

After Germany took up its six-month EU presidency at midnight yesterday, Mr Verheugen told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Normally a single currency is the final step in a process of political integration. This time the single currency isn't the final step but the beginning."