Transition going well for Europe

Regarding the Jan. 7 Herald editorial, “Euro shows its ability to buy items, not soul”: I recently returned from Italy and was able to witness the beginning of that nation’s adaptation to the use of the euro for cash transactions. Non-cash transactions, such as bank transfers, have been denominated in euros for over a year. Except for some confusion in making change (lira in, Euros out) things were going pretty smoothly.

Western Europe has a long and often violent history, one that is a part of our history. The fact that this region is making the effort to improve itself in a non-violent and non-repressive manner is laudable. Sure the EU has its problems, but large, unresponsive bureaucracies are not unknown in Washington state. Airbus is certainly giving Boeing a run for its money, isn’t it? And if the editors think that the USA has handled the diversity issue so well, try walking down Casino Road or Rainier Valley at night. The slums of Naples are much safer.

Europeans, unlike many Americans, do not have identity problems. They do not need to define themselves by their commercial transactions. The 12 different currencies being replaced by the Euro benefited only fiscally irresponsible politicians and the money-changers. It is a good and rare thing to see an effective action in this world. Washington state has an economy that resembles many a European nation: high export, high trade. Let’s learn from Europe and wish them well.

Snohomish

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