Could Irish Euro notes be discriminated against?

Who ever thought that Euro notes issued from different EU member states would be treated differently?  Apparently, it is already happening in Germany. 

Ian Cowie of the Daily Telegraph reports:

“Now rising fears about southern European countries’ financial stability mean it could pay to be able to read the code on your euro.  Some Germans are already insisting on holding on to euros issued in their own country and passing on those backed by southern states.  They know from not too distant history what it feels like to be left holding worthless paper which used to be official currency.”

Cowie then stirs the pot:

“If you share widespread fears that the euro cannot last in its present form, you might want to avoid notes with the prefixes F, G, M, S, T or Y. These are issued by Malta, Cyprus, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Greece.”

Is Cowie being Alarmist or helpful?

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3 Responses to Could Irish Euro notes be discriminated against?

  1. shane says:

    He’s being alarmist. The Daily Telegraph – which is owned by the spiteful Barclay Brothers- hates the European Union and ‘reports’ on it accordingly. When I see Ambrose Evans-Pritchard or his (much worse) colleague Bruno Waterfield reporting on matters European, I instantly turn off. A few years ago the Telegraph got excited about a few German shops deciding to revert to accepting deutschmarks and it sparked a storm on the media about the instant demise of the single currency. They also ‘predicted’ an exhange rate crisis in 1999, absolute chaos as Euro notes replaced national currencies in 2002 and the breakup of the Eurozone during the financial crisis in 2008. None of these happened. They remind me of doomsdayers whose predictions of impending oblivion invariably fail to materialize.

    Be careful when you see reports about the imminent demise of the Euro. People have been saying this for a very long time. Lord Tebbit declared that “The concept is dead” in 1993. The Euro will live on.

  2. Seymour Major says:

    Shane,

    I dont think a collapse of the Euro is imminent but I certainly think it is a possibility. It really depends on the political will of key European states.

    At the moment, it is the Germans that are taking most of the stress. They are the one State that is capable of breaking the Euro. So long as their Government is prepared to lead the burden of propping up the Southern States, the Euro will remain. Two thirds of Germans would like to have the Deutschmark back. At the moment, all Germany’s main parties support the Euro and European integration. If there is any further crisis, one of those parties could easily be tempted to ditch its current policy for a more populist line.

    Greece now has a deal which keeps it propped up for 3 years, so long as it complies with restrictions imposed on it. This is unpopular in Germany but the politicians will be able to ride that out if no other Country gets into a similar situation. Greece is ‘small beer’ compared to other Southern states. Much will depend on the ability of Portugal, Spain and Italy to manage their way through their difficulties. If one of them is unable to, I think that will be the beginning of the end of the Euro.

  3. shane says:

    Seymour, I recall a German poll taken about two or three years ago which indicated that about half of Germany’s population wanted to return to the DM. I’m actually surprised that the figure isn’t higher.

    No mainstream German party will support leaving the Single Currency, at least for the forseeable future. Europe’s main political parties generally do not take account of popular opinion when determining European policy. That includes the Conservative Party. In an ideal world, that would be something to lament. However these are troubled times.

    Greece will suffer tremendous pain as a result of the austerity package. The same however would be true if Greece decided the leave the Eurozone and reintroduce the drachma. Immediately investors would assume that there would be a devaluation of the currency and trade unions would put in massive wage claims to make up for the inflationary effect on imports.

    Germany will just have to suck it up. Look at what happened when Lehman Bros was allowed to collapse. There was a good theoretical case for it at the time but it precipitated chaos in the financial markets. The same would be repeated, on a much larger scale, if one of the PIGS countries was allowed to default. There would be a bond market crisis throughout Europe which would feed into the German economy.

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