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1998-05-11 16:43:35


European Bureaucrats Meet for First Time to Discuss Y2K



A meeting of low-level representatives of Western European governments was held recently. The goal: to discuss y2k.

Yes, my friends, bureaucrats are discussing the problem. They are flying around and staying at expensive hotels at government expense to discuss the problem.

And I can say this with absolute confidence: they will fly to other cities, to stay at other expensive hotels, to discuss this problem again.

It's only early May, 1998. There is plenty of time remaining to hold more discussions.

This Reuters story appeared in INFOBEAT (May 8).

* * * * * * *

LONDON (Reuters) - Millennium bug experts from across the European Union met Friday to swap ideas on preventing computer chaos when the new century dawns.

The so-called ``Year 2000 Problem'' centers on fears that computers will not recognize dates when the century ends, disrupting basic services and wreaking havoc for businesses that do not reprogram their systems.

Seeking to head off such chaos, British junior trade minister Barbara Roche summoned European Union member states to thrash out solutions to the millennium bug.

``This conference is about sharing our experiences to ensure that each member state's awareness, activities and other preparations are as effective as possible,'' Roche told reporters at the start of the conference. ``We are absolutely determined to put our full weight and authority behind this.'' . . .

Roche conceded EU states were tackling the problem in different ways and with varying levels of effectiveness, but said it was vital everyone pulled together so EU trading was not disrupted come the year 2000.

``No country can tackle the bug in isolation. A failure in one part of the EU could have potentially serious knock-on effects elsewhere,'' said Roche, who convened the meeting as part of Britain's rotating presidency of the EU.

The issue is also due to be discussed at a Group of Eight summit in Britain later this month. . . .

Washington has said many nations are woefully ill-prepared and do not yet recognize the turmoil that could hit everything from power grids to air traffic control.


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