Excuse me for a moment whilst I gaze across the pond…
For some odd reason, the locals are getting restless about the solidity of their currency. At Samizdata, I found a link to this Daily Mail piece where the writer warns his fellow Britons about accepting currency printed by certain nations.
In the face of this gross irresponsibility, the people of Europe have no choice but to take matters into their own hands and take the right precautions.
Here are two essential pieces of advice. Anyone planning to travel to Eurozone countries during the summer should consider what has previously been unthinkable - the fate of euro notes and coins if the single currency falls apart.
I believe it is inevitable that Greece and Portugal will pull out of the euro at some stage, and when that happens there will be little or no warning.
In these extreme circumstances, the euros issued by these two countries might be converted back to drachmas and escudos - leaving the value of them in jeopardy.
Of course, under European Central Bank rules the value of this money ought to be fully protected, but who knows what will happen if there was a major crisis.
Certainly, on my travels, I’m going to be wary of accepting euro notes with serial numbers that are prefixed with the letters Y (coming from Greece) or M (from Portugal).
I shall also strongly steer clear of notes with the serial numbers starting G (Cyprus), S (Italy), V ( Spain), T ( Ireland) and F (Malta).
This might sound as if I’m being ridiculously alarmist, but you cannot be too careful.
However, other euro notes should be reasonably safe.
These include those marked Z (Belgium), U (France), l (Finland) and H (Slovenia-As for those with serial numbers beginning with X ( Germany), P (the Netherlands)and N (Austria), they can all be used with total confidence.
I’m sorry, but if one falls, they all tumble rather quickly. But whichever opinion you take, US travelers should take note of this advice as well.
Did you ever want to own an island? In the Med?
In the wisest move indebted governments can do with their surplus real estate, Greece has got your hookup.
There’s little that shouts “seriously rich” as much as a little island in the sun to call your own. For Sir Richard Branson it is Neckar in the Caribbean, the billionaire Barclay brothers prefer Brecqhou in the Channel Islands, while Aristotle Onassis married Jackie Kennedy on Skorpios, his Greek hideway.
Now Greece is making it easier for the rich and famous to fulfill their dreams by preparing to sell, or offering long-term leases on, some of its 6,000 sunkissed islands in a desperate attempt to repay its mountainous debts.
The Guardian has learned that an area in Mykonos, one of Greece’s top tourist destinations, is one of the sites for sale. The area is one-third owned by the government, which is looking for a buyer willing to inject capital and develop a luxury tourism complex, according to a source close to the negotiations.
As hard up as they are for cash, I’m sure that they’d let go of one of the smaller landforms go for the right price too.
Next up, back to the UK, where you get assaulted and detained for taking pictures during a parade
Two police officers stopped a teenage photographer from taking pictures of an Armed Forces Day parade – and then claimed they did not need a law to detain him.
Jules Mattsson, a 16-year-old freelancer from Hackney, east London, was photographing police cadets on Saturday when he was ordered to stop and give his personal details by an adult cadet officer who claimed he needed parental permission to capture images of the cadets.
After arguing his rights in a series of protracted legal debates with officers, the sixth former says he was pushed down a set of stairs and detained for breaching the peace until the parade passed.
I guess that not everybody loves a parade.
All across Europe, as of 2011, you will no longer be able to buy “A Dozen Eggs”.
British shoppers will no longer be able to buy eggs by the dozen under new regulations approved by the European Parliament.
For the first time, eggs and other products including oranges and bread rolls – will be sold by weight instead of by the number contained in a packet.
Last week, MEPs voted to bring an end to Britain’s exemption from the metric policy despite objections from several UK members.
Eggs have traditionally been sold by the dozen or half-dozen because the old imperial measurements such as inches or pennies were calculated in groups of 12. But the new rules, to be introduced next year, mean that instead of packaging telling shoppers a box contains six eggs, it will show the weight in grams of the eggs inside.
And if their past labelling habits are any indication, the cholesteral warning labels will be bigger than the word “Eggs” on the box.