James Moore: A drachma for your thoughts, De La Rue

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The Independent Online

Outlook Are they or aren't they? De La Rue, the banknote printer, was being all coy yesterday when asked about a new drachma, which might or might not have been printed up at one of its facilities somewhere in the world.

If not in a De La Rue warehouse the new notes are likely to be sitting ready somewhere, should they be needed. The smart money is already banking on it, having bet on Greece's forced ejection from the euro.

It might seem like a longshot but the way the eurozone crisis is progressing it is not inconceivable that the venerable currency, which dates from the time of the ancient Greek city states, might even be resurrected in time for the opening of that other great Greek institution: the Olympic Games.

Shame for De La Rue that it can't boast about its involvement. If it is involved.

You can understand why the sensitivities around the issue are quite high. But being entrusted with the work would be seen as quite a coup for De La Rue's chief executive Tim Cobbold, who has been putting right the mess that was created a couple of years ago when certain members of staff falsified certain paper specification certificates for some of its customers. Deliberately.

That is all in the past now, but if it ever gave the Greeks pause for thought perhaps they came to the conclusion that beggars can't be choosers.

j.moore@independent.co.uk

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