Prime Minister Tony Blair will have his work cut out if he is to persuade the public that the UK should join the 12 European Union countries that have ditched their national currencies in favour of the euro. In a straw poll taken among Grocer Club readers this week, an overwhelming majority said they were either against a change of currency or, at best, were undecided. What did come across loud and clear from every retailer we contacted was that conversations among their customers showed clearly that most shoppers ­ particularly the elderly ­ did not want the euro. Many retailers said they would watch how the euro progressed in the countries using it before deciding. Mohammed Khan, who runs a general store in Manchester, said: "The UK economy is doing well against other currencies, so why ditch sterling? The euro has been in circulation for less than a month and it appears there is already a major problem with fake notes. "With euro notes looking much the same across the 12 nations using them, the problem with forgeries is bound to be more pronounced than it is in the UK ­ and it's a big enough problem here." Khan said his customers were unable to get to grips with metric weights and believed they would be just as confused by the euro. Carol Dawson, who owns The Village Stores in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, said her store served mainly older folk, who don't like change and many struggled to understand the metric system. "They will never say yes to the euro." Dawson said she was undecided which way to vote. Ernest Bamford, who runs Abbey Stores in Lymington, Hampshire, said he would wait to see how the euro worked in the other countries before making up his mind but added that his customers were totally opposed to it. Costcutter retailer Les Gwynne from Talgarth, Powys, was another who was adamant that his customers would vote against the euro, but he would back the switch. He said: "I've heard that, if we adopt the euro, the value of the pound will fall, but I feel it's inevitable that we will join the monetary union. "Older people will be confused if the changeover comes but, if we take on the euro, it might lead to some sort of equalisation of duty rates and that would be good for everyone." Gwynne believed that, for Blair to get a yes vote, people will need a lot more information about the euro than they've been given so far. {{GROCER CLUB }}