Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Friendly Euro 2016 Clash Consuls Bet Wine, Beer

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Friendly Euro 2016 Clash Consuls Bet Wine, Beer

Article excerpt

The Euro 2016 semifinal matchup today between France and Germany will have ramifications in Pittsburgh, where French wine or German beer will change hands depending on the result.

A series of emails between Jean-Dominique Le Garrec and Paul Overby, Pittsburgh's French and German honorary consuls, led to a friendly wager involving the countries' traditional drinks and flags.

If Germany, Le Garrec owes Overby a case of French wine. Overby will deliver a case of German beer to Le Garrec if the French team prevails.

"I think that's quite appropriate for the event," Le Garrec said, laughing. Overby said he hasn't picked out what kind of beer he'd deliver to Le Garrec in the event of a French victory, but he'll "make sure it's good."

The other half of the agreement requires the honorary consuls to swap the French and German flags and fly them. If France wins, Le Garrec will fly a French flag at full staff, above a German flag at half staff, while Overby will fly the French flag and "display it with honor" at his home. Bastille Day, the French National Day, is July 14, and Le Garrec hopes the celebration includes German beer and a German flag at half-staff.

The consuls are private citizens appointed by their governments to promote cultural and business ties. Their gesture is presented against the backdrop of Britain's vote in favor of exiting the European Union.

Overby said it's important for European countries to find a common response to Britain's decision, to listen to one another and to continue to demonstrate that the EU is vital to their existence. There are shared challenges among European countries regarding migration, refugees, expansion of the EU, economic prosperity, unemployment, security and terrorism, he said. …

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