Anorak News | Euro Spells Trouble

Euro Spells Trouble

by | 13th, October 2004

‘IF you want to know what those good men and women in Brussels do all day when they’re not straightening bananas and reclassifying tomatoes, let us enlighten you.

‘And let’s welcome our host, Wim Duisenberg…’

They’re currently involved in the mother and father of all rows over how to spell the word, euro.

Things have got so bad that, according to the Telegraph, EU ambassadors met in emergency session last night to try to quell a rebellion by new member states over the issue.

The problem is that the EU insists that the word euro is spelt the same throughout its 25 member countries – even if it makes no sense in a particular language.

A common enough European approach to a problem you would think, but five new members – Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Slovenia and Malta – haven’t yet got the hang of how things work.

And they want to use a word that makes sense to their populations.

In Lithuania, for instance, the word would be written euras, eurue, eura, euru, eure, eurai, eurams, eurus, eurais or eurose, depending on its function in a sentence.

(Scrabble in Lithuania is, as you might expect, a pretty dull affair – you can pretty well put down whatever you want and guarantee that it is a word.)

And it has written a letter to the Dutch (who hold the presidency of the EU at the moment), protesting that ‘the non-inflective form of the term euro is unacceptable to the Lithuanian language’.

The Dutch have offered a compromise that would allow states to vary usage of the word in national documents as long as the first three letters are ‘eur’.

Very clever – except, of course, in Latvia the word begins with the letters ‘eir’.

So, unless a deal can be reached by lunchtime today, Lithuania and Latvia are threatening to boycott the official signing of the new European constitution later this month.

And you thought our contribution to the EU budget wasn’t being put to good use.’

Posted: 13th, October 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink