Thursday 04 March 1999
Sir: Whatever else the euro may do it won't stop profiteering during the changeover period. It happened with decimalisation in the UK in 1971 and it happened to me with the euro last week in the Canaries.
We happened to stay for a new nights in a German-run facility and they refused to take sterling on the grounds that it wasn't part of the euro. Although the price was based in DM, we were asked to pay in pesetas. I didn't know the DM/peseta rate or have a calculator to hand so I paid the amount requested in good faith. After all, their rates were fixed permanently on 1 January.
On the return to the UK I checked the figures. We have been overcharged by 9 per cent. So much for eliminating the vagaries of exchange rates. Just a little foretaste of what is to come.
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