Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Sweet success for the euro

Sunderland Echo
Monday, December 5, 2005
by Leanne McCormella

Traditional chocolate coins are changing - gone are traditional candy half-crowns and sweetie shaped sixpences, replaced by foil-wrapped foreign currency. Reporter Leanne McCormella finds out why stores are stuffing the euro down our throats - literally.

It seems the single European currency is sneaking in through the back door - disguised as a festive stocking filler.
Thousands of chocolate coins will be munched by sweet-toothed youngsters across the city during the Christmas holidays.
But this year, retailers are shunning pounds and pennies in favour of foil-wrapped euro treats.
An Echo survey found only one store keeping the sterling tradition alive. The rest are selling treats shaped like foreign currency.
Thorntons, which has branches in Sunderland, Durham and Washington, is the only chocolatier selling Brit-style treats. It has filled its shelves with sweets shaped like 10p. 5p and tuppences for the festive season.
High-street pharmacy Boots is selling milk chocolate gold and silver euros instead of sterling sweets.
And Superdrug and Sainsbury's are stocking a mixture of milk and white chocolate shaped as U.S. dollars and cents; Norwegian kroner, Chinese yuan and South African rand.
MEP MArtin Callanan, a vocal euro-sceptic, said: "If people want real value in their chocolate coins they should buy pounds and pence."
But one group of Sunderland youngsters making the most of the chocolate continental currency is the Euro Club at Southwick Primary School.
The Year 5 pupils meet every week to email pupils at a school in Aurland, Norway, and are also learning basic Italian.
Leader Dr Alan Stoker said: "As members of the European Community the pupils are very interested in the euro as a unit of currency, particularly when it is in chocolate form.
"Chocolatising the euro may be a good way of winning over people to accept this as our future currency."
A spokeswoman for Boots defended its decision to sell euros, saying: "Our food team have confirmed that the designs for the coins are limited and we weren't offered the option of the British Sterling design."
A Superdrug spokeswoman said the store offered international coins to make them "more educational and fun" for children.

They're not the Metric Martyr's taste
Metric Martyr Neil Herron is not a fan of the chocolate euros.
The Euro-sceptic said: "This is another example of the European Union ramming the euro down our throats - quite literally.
"But let's just allow the kids to enjoy the chocolate for what it is, useless chocolate currency."
Mr Herron is a political campaigner who launched The People's No Campaign against a European constitution before plans for a referendum were put on the back burner.
He believes any Yes vote would hand over too much power to Brussels
Over the years there have been many claims about bans enforced by the EU.
They include sweet shops banned from selling unwrapped sweets; bans on English apples which are more than 55mm across; curved bananas, cucumbers and rhubarb banned; and mushy peas outlawed.


wonkotsane said...

My parents bought some for my kids when they were in the Netherlands. Chocolate is about the only good thing you can do with a Euro other than melt it down. :)

Anonymous said...

Fingers crossed the tradition will continue this year. The Euro's growing as a reserve currency (after all it's what Mr Hussain asked for in Iraq when he was selling oil, and probably what caused the US to attack).

It's only a matter of time before the Euro really starts to undermine the dollar. The Chinese are heavily investing in the Euro as a reserve currency, and they, along with the forcing of oil sales (that has been going on since the collapse of Bretton Woods in 1974) in dollars, are propping up the dollar.

Noticed it's been getting weaker recently? When the dollar disappears as the favoured reserve currency it will be the Euro, not the pound, that replaces it. People will (do) want Euros, not pounds. I'm afraid the pound's time is numbered.

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