Austrian campaign to boost favour for EMU

The Austrian government is to launch a pounds 500,000 public relations campaign aimed at boosting flagging support for the single European currency.

The Austrian government is to launch a pounds 500,000 public

relations campaign aimed at boosting flagging support for the single

European currency.



The Ministry of Finance has issued a call for tenders from PR agencies

to manage a 12-month campaign to explain the concept and benefits of

European monetary union (EMU). Five agencies will be shortlisted and the

selected adviser will start work in September.



Details of the campaign remain unclear, although it is understood that

the finance ministry expects the winning agency to come up with a

general strategy to promote the Euro and to tailor it to different

audiences, including consumers, trade unions and businesses.



One of the European Union’s newest members, Austria is set to join the

first wave of EMU membership in 1999. Public support for the Euro is,

however, running at an all time low.



A recent survey showed that 64 per cent of Austrians are opposed to the

single currency while Chancellor Viktor Klima has warned of ’serious

danger’ if the timetable for monetary union slips back.



The wave of pessimism coincides with the resignation last month of the

government’s chief Euro campaigner Gustav Raab. Former head of the

Association of Austrian Savings Banks, Raab quit after just three weeks

in the job, amid allegations that he followed the European Commission’s

line too closely.



PR sources suggest that the government believes a privately-owned agency

would be less susceptible to Brussels’ influence.



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