Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Willy Poole Column

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Willy Poole Column

Article excerpt

Byline: By Willy Poole

So what do I think about the euro? Not much as it goes, by which I mean that I do not spend my declining years pondering on the question: To euro or not to euro?

As far as I am concerned, the euro is just the coinage that I have to use for the everyday passage of life, as it might be for browsing and sluicing and having my hair cut. I am not an economist and all I can tell you about the euro is that I seem to spend less of them (in total value) to achieve these three admirable parts of life than I used to have to spend in pounds sterling. It may be that there are those unreconstructed persons in Blair's Britain who still hanker after becoming part of the euro-zone, but I question whether you will find many such enthusiasts amongst the inhabitants of the European Dis-union.

The French want their franc back and every shop price appears in euros and francs (just to keep rubbing it in). In the markets, you can still hear punters ordering fruit or whatever by the livre (pound), but do not twist your underwear. This does not refer to our own dear Imperial pound ( the weight that dare not speak its name ( it refers to the pre-metric, pre-Napoleon pound, which at approximately half of a kilo works out at 1lb Imperial or near as dammit.

Some years ago I had an argument with a Frankfurt taxi driver about the euro just at the time that the mighty Deutsch mark was about to be chucked into the euro stew pot. But what about all his hard won savings going down the euro drain, I asked? He said that if the European Union could save Europe from another war then he would gladly see his savings going down the kazi. I wonder if he is still the same starry eyed euro idealist today. They are becoming a rare breed, in the face of overwhelming evidence of Euro-stagnation, Euro-complacency, Euro-corruption and very probable Euro-disintegration. There is in Paris an economic think tank called the Conseil d'Analyse Economique. …

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