I always enjoy watching ZDF Heute, the news programme of one of Germany’s state owned Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen. Not only is the manner of delivery of the presenters so refreshingly staid and old-fashioned, but the way stories are covered is amusingly dead-pan. This lunchtime there was a report on how it’s increasingly easy to spend Euros in plenty of shops around Time Square in New York. Nothing about the political significance of this, or the pros and cons of it – just a straightforward well you can, and here is a German tourist doing it.
So I’ve looked into it a bit further. There only reasonable coverage I can find in English is from the Washington Post, and there’s more in German from AFP (machine translation here). The former claims that a lot of the spending is actually from Americans who travel regularly, as well as European tourists cashing in on the weak dollar. It also turns out that rapper Jay-Z is also at it, flashing Euros in video Blue Magic (52 seconds into the film – on YouTube here).
Now how much of communications coup is that for the EU to have an American rapper using their cash? Well, so much so that there’s only one reference to Jay-Z in the entirety of europa.eu – in the CV of someone called Patrick Passley who “Assisted in organising the Urban Music Festival where I personally introduced Beyonce and Alicia Keys and Jay-Z to HRH Prince of Wales” – not really what I was looking for! This is surely one for Margot WallstrÃ¶m as Jay-Z is at least a bit better than Dustin the Turkey.