Magazine article The Spectator

In the Savoy

Magazine article The Spectator

In the Savoy

Article excerpt

I HAVE been testing the purchasing power of the euro in the Savoy - not the usual one on the Embankment but the one in France with the mountains. Simple, really. The procedure is familiar. When the bill comes, you flash your credit card, but drinks can also be bought with special vouchers which can be obtained from machines in the walls outside banks. Only the design of the vouchers has changed. I observe that the new ones do not seem to incorporate anyone's promise to pay. There is an ideogram in the top left hand corner which might be Wim Duisenberg's signature but looks more like a pterodactyl. That apart, they are no more than the tokens of a surrender of monetary autonomy which happened three years ago, and I cannot think that their appearance will now convince us that we must surrender ours. …

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