Thursday, January 05, 2006

European unity has several obstacles

Originally uploaded by Robert Brook.

EU Observer - an excellent newsletter on EU issues - reported today that the Latvian government is opposing calling the euro "euro". They say that this is against Latvian grammar and therefore they wish to call it "eiro". However, there is a decision by the EU leaders that the currency should have the same name and spelling in all countries apart from Greece due to different alphabets.

The Latvian education minister went as far as saying that the issue threatens the fundamental values of the union, such as equality and identity. Latvia is willing to take the issue to the European Court of Justice. And now Malta wants to call it "ewro".

I think this is a classical situation where countries have to see across their national borders. And by following populist tones the governments keep feeding anti-EU sentiments.

To be honest, I dare to state that calling the currency "euro" does not threaten Latvian identity. The bigger change is joining the monetary union altogether.

Although Latvia was not a member of the EU when the decision was made (1997), I still do feel that in these sort of issues we have to stick to our shared decisions. Pity I do not have any Latvian readers who would be able to shed light on the issue.


ice breaker said...

but help me out here, isn't the cent in France called centimes? or is that just how they call it on the streets?

Tommi Laitio said...

Darling, I have absolutely no idea what so ever. Maybe someone who
a) goes to the country more often than I do
b) speaks the language
can help us here.

Let's wait and maybe the truth will find its way to this blog.

Although this entry is written in the middle of the night, the semi-merry tone has nothing to do with narcotics or alcohol. It is all a result of too many episodes of Frasier.

wazhashk said...

Personally, I think every language will call the euro differently because languages differ from one another. Not all languages function as English or German, and so I don't expect that "euro" will fit all languages. Some languages have a stronger relationship between letters and sounds. Some languages require affixes to be attached to words for grammatically. It will never be identical from language to language.

There is a universal symbol for the euro (€), and I don't see the necessity for the spelled out word to be identical in all languages. It's just stupid to argue for one proper spelling, especially so that an exception has already been made for Greece.