Friday, February 01, 2008

Something weird

So, I picked up a bag I hadn't used in a while, and found some loose change in the bottom. Last time I used this bag was apparently when I went to Dublin for the day with Amy, because I found the flight itinerary and the coins were Euros.

For those of you who don't know, the Euro was adopted as a single currency by about a dozen countries, mostly mainland Western Europe, in 1999, and by 2002 had totally replaced individual currencies like the Franc and the Lira (and thank God, because last time I visited Italy the Lira was worth about 0.003 of a penny).

Anyway. Several EU countries didn't adopt the currency (according the the Euro website, this is either because they 'opted-out' or because they didn't meet the criteria. I don't know what these criteria are, but I don't think it's to do with having a strong economy, since Slovenia's in and Sweden is out). The UK is one of the countries to Just Say No...and yet, I notice we're included in the little logo on the Euro coins.

Why is this? The 20c coin there is Greek and minted in 1999, when there might still have been some debate about the UK joining (and learn a new currency? There are people here who still think in pounds, shillings and pence. Well, up until 1971 we still used them). But the 50c coin came from Ireland in 2002. Why does the logo still have the UK on it?

According to the website, it's because we're in the Euro Area but have Opted Out. Which is basically saying that we haven't officially said no yet (unlike, say Switzerland or Norway, who were smart enough to not get inolved in the first damn place). Is this so that when Mr Bean sells out to the EU, they won't have to make new coins? I think it is. I think they planned it all along.

Just remember, you heard it here first. Okay, you probably didn't, but pretend you did, k?

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