Economists were last night divided by the proposed introduction of a novelty currency designed to entice tourists to France. Some financial experts believe that the currency – called the ‘Franc’ – will stimulate France’s struggling tourism industry, whereas others have been less enthusiastic.
Owen Daniels, one of The Economist’s leading European trading experts, has described the proposal as “childish and backward,” noting that the instability of the Euro in it’s current state would not be able to cope with unnecessary changes. “I understand that France needs an economic boost, but using what is potentially ‘clown money’ will just turn people away.”
Although France has essentially been using a novelty currency since 1999, the ‘Franc’ is intended to draw in visitors from other Eurozone countries who want to see what the potential positive effects of monetary separation could be.
Representatives from the Bank de France have admitted that they got the idea from the British city of Bristol. The group behind the scheme have based the proposal on France’s similarities with the city, notably the need to attract outsiders and the amusing accent.
Claude Ouillard, a travel agent in Calais, is especially excited about the potential use of the currency. “It will no doubt be especially popular with British people, as the notes will have Mr Bean on them and all text will be in Comic Sans font, which we know is much-loved over there”. His colleague, however, was more cynical about the project feeling that the term ‘Franc’ was old-fashioned, and the novelty of it would turn away upper-middle-class Brits looking to buy old barns to convert into holiday homes.
The ‘Franc’ will initially be introduced on a 1:1 rate with the current currency but it is likely that the fact that it is not a Euro will increase it in value by 52% by the end of August.