Smart money is on the 'Euro'

Valencia - They won't admit it yet, but Europe's single currency looks almost certain to be called "the Euro". The "Florin" is still a runner, and the "Franken" is a name favoured by some, writes Sarah Helm .

One idea was to use Euro as a prefix to existing national currency names, hence the Euro-pound or the Euro-mark. However, at Valencia there was informal consensus over lunch that the Euro pure and simple represents the best solution.

Ministers dodged a final decision at the weekend for fear of sparking public debate, and the name will now be settled at the Madrid summit in December. Five criteria (the EU likes criteria) were agreed, however: that the currency should be given a name which is equally recognisable in every country. It should be simple to understand, it should not give rise to any linguistic difficulty, it should have a strongly European flavour and the name should not give rise to any legal problems.

The name Ecu, envisaged by the Maastricht treaty, has now lost all favour. Germany in particular objected to the name, fearing it would become associated in the German public mind with Europe's weak basket currency.