Dormi, dormi, bel bambino,<br>Vago figlio del mio cor,<br>La tua madre sta vicino,<br>Tutta gioia tutt’ amor – Luigi Ricci<br>
Jon Pyser, the Advertisement Manager of the Engineer, loves pizza. So for his holiday this year, he packed his trunk and off he went to Italy.
But, oh, what a surprise he got when he arrived, dear reader! You see, the last time he visited the place, the Italians were still using the good old Lira. But this year, everything was priced in Euros, the new national currency. And whereas, previously, Jon had found that he had more than enough money left over from his hols to buy your trusty e4 editor at least 400 B&H from the airport, this year he came back empty handed!
All because, since the introduction of the Euro currency into Italy, prices have gone up considerably. In some cases, Jon found that an increase of 40% in shops and restaurants wasn’t uncommon.
Now all this wouldn’t be too bad if the salaries of the Italians had gone up by a proportional amount. But they haven’t. And so they had some less than complementary things to say to Jon about the Euro.
Dan King, the Publisher of e4engineering, loves nothing more than spending some quality time in a bierkeller. So he went off to Germany for his holidays. But things there were pretty much the same as in Italy. The Germans didn’t seem to like the Euro either. They were also paying more for stuff and their wages hadn’t gone up either.
Of course, it isn’t the Euro, per se, that has resulted in an increase in prices. It’s the fact that none of these Euro-crazed governments put any legislation in place to prevent such opportunistic racketeering prior to the introduction of the new currency. Worse yet, having goofed up on that front, the parliamentarians then had the nerve to tell their constituents to boycott purchasing items that appeared outrageously expensive. Now that might be acceptable if they had been referring to Gucci watches or Versace clothes. But surely not to Italian buffalo milk cheese mozzarella or German wieners and sulz koteletts?
I’m pleased to say that I went nowhere but my local for my holiday this year. And the price of a pint in the snug is pretty much the same as ever. Fortunately, the good old UK government has done something right here and stuck with the English pound instead of abandoning it in favour of the new nonsense from Brussels. But if they do think of changing their minds, let’s hope at least they learn from the mistakes of our colleagues in mainland Europe.