28th December 2001
I’M completely opposed to European integration and I fought like a cat in heat to stop the Nice Treaty being passed.
So you’d imagine I would take a dim view of the euro. You’d imagine wrong.
The euro is the best thing to happen to this continent since Hitler got his comeuppance. It will be far more unifying than all the treaties of the EU put together. Far from being the child of the EU, it is almost certain that countries outside the EU will adopt the euro without seeking to join up.
European integrationists would have us believe that we need one superstate to run the euro but this is rubbish.
We didn’t need to be part of the UK to use sterling for 60 years. Numerous countries have effectively adopted the dollar as their currency and many countries are pegged to the dollar.
The euro offers amazing clarity in the international economy which is especially important to Ireland.
For example, our GDP in 2000 was $69 billion. We exported some $64 billion worth of goods. In the present situation, all those exports are subject to some currency charges. Prices can change at the whim of the markets. Differentials hide real value.
Under the euro most of this will now be revealed. We can make comparisons far more easily across the eurozone. Transparency is the key.
But the part of the world most in need of this transparancy will be left out. The resources of the Third World are being plundered and the real values are hidden behind Mickey Mouse currencies that a medium-sized western corporation could manipulate at the drop of a hat.
Remember George Soros. The Bank of England decided to hold up the value of sterling. George decided otherwise. Remember who won.
Sterling collapsed under nothing more than the onslaught of a herd of profiteers in the currency markets. It had nothing to do with the value of what you could buy with sterling. Nothing to do with real economics. Money was moved from here to there creating absolutely nothing but undermining democracy. There is no-one more critical of this situation now than the bould George himself.
So to hell with currencies, I say. The whole point of money is that it is universally recognised. So the best outcome would be to have a single world currency.
I hereby introduce the ‘worldo’ – the coin in your pocket that can be spent from Ulan Bator to Santiago; from Anchorage to Adelaide.
The copper in that copper mine that the mining company got away with paying 100 ubungos a tonne for would now have to be paid for in hard currency and the rip-off would clear to all.
The worldo would be run by the UN. The design for the notes and coins would be the same the world over.
Don’t weep for the ould punt. The idea that each country having its own design on its coins is a form of cultural diversity is a joke. This is a piece of globalisation the world badly needs.
A daily reminder of partition…
Whose idea was it to splice the map of Europe up on the bronze euro coins? Now we have to look at a partitioned Ireland every day.
I recognise the principle of consent as in the Good Friday Agreement. But to make it easier you would imagine that people would drop the border on maps where it has no consequence.
Instead, we have weather maps showing the border as if it meant anything to rain or clouds.
If we can’t get rid of the border, can we not just forget about it? Not now.
If you feel the euro is a bit confusing spare a thought for shops along the border. Any town within five miles of the border effectively works with two currencies at present. You can walk into a shop in Crossmaglen, buy a packet of crisps with punts and no-one will turn a hair.
But for the six week changeover period these shops will have to work with three currencies. Shoppers will offer punts and euro and get their change in sterling.
Figure that out!
Euro or euros?
Pronounciation freaks are getting their knickers in a twist over whether the plural of euro is euros or just euro. Some say the subject is the forte of pedants.
Well, not really. As I understand it the reason the authorities don’t want people using ‘euros’ and ‘cents’ is that we will end up with different plurals for every language of Europe. Even here, the Irish for euros and cents (there I go) would be euroai and centai. Yikes!
So there! (Who are you calling a pedant?)
And finally…the eurowilly?
I don’t want to lower the tone of the whole thing but does the map of Finland and Sweden on the euro not look like one of those diagrams from the reproductive system page of the school science book?.