Friday, 19 December 2008

Cursed are the currency exchangers

The £ was worth 1.13 Euros when I flew from Gatwick earlier this week. Yet in the North Terminal the best rate I could see was 1.05.

It seems iniquitous, when British travellers to the Eurozone are having to cope with an effective price increase of at least 40% since this time last year*, that currency exchange companies should be coining 7% on the difference between the official and tourist rates alone.

"Usurious" was how a friend described them today. Maybe they should share the pain a little.

I thumbed my nose at them - figuratively speaking that is - and went to an ATM when I arrived in the Austrian Alps.

That was probably a mistake, since by today the official rate had dropped to 1.07. But somehow, despite cutting off the thumbed nose to spite my face, it left me with a satisfying sense of revenge.

*Sterling has fallen against the Euro by 25 - 30% but looked at the other way round that means a 15 Euro dish of the day for example, which worked out at a touch over £10 a year ago, is now almost £15 - a rise of nearly 50%.

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