Although the single market has long been at the top of the agenda of European integration, that market could never be complete and open so long as the member states retained their national currencies: exchange rates fluctuated, costs and profits could never be firmly predicted, and currency conversion meant additional layers of bureaucracy and planning. The creation of a single currency promised to remove all these problems, and would also make European integration felt not just in the pockets and bank accounts of Europeans, but also in global financial markets.
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