In the fifty or so times, I have visited the USA, the question often comes up about how I as an Australian feel about the US dollar. Half of the questions will ask me how I deal with switching from the Euro. Inevitably, people look incredibly confused when I explain that Australia does not use the Euro.
Apparently this confusion is quite universal as evidenced in this video from the TV show: Squawk Box. Scroll through to 6:55 minute mark and prepare to be amazed:
The commentators show complete ignorance and then tell Martin Shanahan, the head of Irish Development Agency that the whole pound and Euro thing is “too confusing” and “You have got to get it together“. Cringe. Was it meant to be funny? Squawk Box is meant to be satirical but this was too uncomfortable! Imagine a Canadian telling the US off for the Civil War and asking why Texas isn’t part of Mexico and using the Canadian franc?
Me Shanahan looked decidedly uncomfortable as the discussion skirted topics such as the Irish Independence, Northern Irish “Troubles” and the recent Scottish referendum. He sensibly kept the conversation focussed on Irish golfing prowess! The IDA themselves did not criticise the television channel or the show’s presenters.
Here is a handy Euro map which may be helpful for European travel and/or appearing on national TV with dignitaries from one of those countries.
(For those who are wondering, the Republic of Ireland effectively gained independence in 1922. Northern Ireland remained in the United Kingdom. Ireland adopted the Euro as its accounting currency in 1999. Euro currency began circulation at the start of 2002. The United Kingdom uses Pound Sterling. Scottish banks issue their own Pound banknotes which circulate freely across the whole of the UK. In September, Scotland voted to remain in the UK. )