Re: Euro currency sign

From: Alain La Bonté - ordi3dgsig (
Date: Wed Oct 15 1997 - 09:56:35 EDT

A 05:11 97-10-15 -0700, Harald T. Alvestrand a écrit :
>The only reason I can see for the Euro symbol being used at all
>is codepoint envy towards the dollar sign.
>Monetary symbols are a dumb idea; people who want to use them should
>pay the cost and use ISO 10646 in full.
>What's the 3-letter monetary code for the Euro?
> Harald T. Alvestrand
> monetary unit Kr (NOK)

[Alain LaBonté] :
I've signaled to Mr. Benitez that there was already a proposal under ballot
for a new part of 8859 (part 15) adding the euro symbol and correcting
French and Finnish repertoires (part 1 is supposed to cover these languages
but it does not do it fully for reasons of historical mistakes done in ISO
TC97/SC2 [currently ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2] in 1987 - this ought to be corrected
for information interchage purposes between EBCDIC, ISO-8-bit and ISO-UCS

That said, I agree with Harald that changing 7-bit-ASCII should not be
done, only for pragmatic and realistic reasons.

Finally it is true that in an ideal world we should avoid for banking
operations to use anything but 3-letter codes for currency identification
(I do not count, though, the number of Europeans that invent new 3-letter
symbols everyday without taking any look on international standards, like
GBP instead of UKP, SFR instead of CHF, and so on -- that has to be said
too -- it makes believe that these are the true banking codes, while it has
nothing to do with them!)

However many application systems (without mentioning the end-user and
commercial non-banking practices) are nowadays limited in Europe to
1-character position for presenting their current national currency.
Changing this to 3-letter codes would only amplify the technical challenge
which is already big in that applications will have to show two prices in
Europe for a while, mandated by law (maybe by doubling lines on reports -
changing formats would be extremely more expensive).

An there are of course political issues. The EURO SIGN is, imho, there to
stay, realistically too.

This change to a common European currency is of course going to cost a lot
of money, perhaps more than adapting applications to the year 2000 issue.
But this will also create jobs for a decade or maintain them (; ... and
pave the way to, who knows, a global currency! We'll know how to do it!
This avant-gardist experience is bold, but it is a well-meant political
will by a body representing hundreds of millions people and we should
applaude to the idea. If this can be done, what can't be done for peace?

Alain LaBonté

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