Tiny village is lira's last stronghold against euro

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The Independent Online

Resistance to the European single currency has erupted on Italy's tiny volcanic island of Stromboli. The village of Ginostra is pleading for the Italian lira to remain legal tender after it is officially withdrawn from circulation on 28 February.

Resistance to the European single currency has erupted on Italy's tiny volcanic island of Stromboli. The village of Ginostra is pleading for the Italian lira to remain legal tender after it is officially withdrawn from circulation on 28 February.

None of Ginostra's residents – 20 or 25 depending on who you talk to – have laid eyes on a euro note or coin since their introduction two weeks ago. Officials have blamed the delay in circulation on stormy seas around Sicily. The island, where mules are the main transport, has no port or jetty so a rowing boat has to go out to meet the intermittent passing ferry.

However, while the euro has yet to arrive, one resident was the lucky recipient of a euro-convertor, sent by mail by the government to four million families. The islanders have appealed to the Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, for a reprieve for the lira. They do without electricity, satellite television or cell phones, but the idea of not having valid cash in their pockets scares these hardy folk.

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