Friday, March 02, 2007


Carte Bancaire

In an earlier post, I discussed the difficulties of several recently joined EU member states with the official spelling of the word ‘euro’.

Now two of the new member states that are set to join the eurozone itself have complained of a difficulty of a carto- rather than an ortho-graphical nature with the notes and coins their citizens will soon be using.

The FT’s Observer column explains:
The bid by Cyprus and Malta to join the eurozone has created headaches in Frankfurt, as the design bods behind the single currency’s notes and coins grapple with an embarrassing dilemma.

Euro bank notes and coinage feature a map of the continent, which includes Britain (a non-euro member) and Turkey, which geographically is largely situated in Asia. But strangely they do not feature either Cyprus or Malta. The leaders of the two Mediterranean islands, which are expected to become the 14th and 15th countries to use the euro on January 1, have registered their concerns with the European Central Bank.

Lawrence Gonzi, Malta’s prime minister, tells Observer: “We’ll be included on the map in the next issue of notes and coins. Don’t worry.”
No doubt there are people out there who would regard including Malta and Cyprus on a map of Europe as “political correctness gone mad”.

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