Monitor: All the News of the World - The German press reflects on Britain's failure to adopt the euro

WHILE WE were toiling away on making the euro, the British in their fine pinstripes did not want to get their hands dirty. "Our pound is staying out," they said with a stiff upper lip.

They see the euro as "still-born", and the German Finance Minister as "the most dangerous man in Europe". Yet their pound is now losing ground against the euro, their companies lack a solid basis for calculations, their stocks are shaky. Big capital, like a tree full of ravens, is fleeing the island: Billions are being moved from London, in the direction of euroland. It was a high and proud horse upon which you Britons have climbed. But now you should quietly dismount.

Bild Zeitung

THE MAJORITY of Britons experienced the launch of the euro as a chapter in Alice in Wonderland: full of absurdities and contradictions.

To the crunch question of whether they can remain a great business nation without curtailing national self-determination, there is still no conclusive answer.

Trade and sovereignty: the euro is leading proud Britain into the torture chamber of an issue which one could always avoid in the past, but cannot do for much longer.

Die Welt

WHAT BRITAIN needs now is political leadership; business will soon be calling for it, since it wants a target date so that it can plan ahead.

In Blair's defence, it has to be pointed out that powerful EU partners have not made it easier to campaign for the euro and Europe. Lafontaine's statements caused a lot of broken china. Polls show that Blair has a hard task ahead.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

HESITANT BRITAIN is reckoning on lots of action ahead. The pound has been moving closer to the dollar than European currencies have been.

Caught between the two gigantic blocks of the euro and the dollar, Britain's economy - which reacts sensitively to exchange rates - could soon lead to a hasty and spontaneous entry of the United Kingdom into the European monetary union.