What is the great concern at the moment across Europe? The euro?, terrorism? the European Union? I am afraid not, it is crime. Le Pen's dreadful victory in the French presidential elections over the weekend was partly because he had campaigned with a tough stance on crime. In Britain David Blunkett has been forced to radically shake-up the police force because of public concern on crime and in Majorca the head of the police service last week attempted to play down the worrying increase in the crime figures. Whether it be in Marseille, in Birmingham or Majorca there is a public perception that not enough is being done to fight crime. In Majorca the new community policing idea has failed as the latest crime figures have shown. The death of an elderly lady at the hands of a street mugger last week has sent shock-waves across the island. What does the public want? I think it would like to see more police officers on patrol across Majorca. I am sure that the fact that police officers are on duty outside the offices of the U.S. Consular Agent in Palma (for other reasons of course) has given the public greater assurance. I think the message coming out at the moment is that the public want more officers on the beat and in some cases on every street corner, whenever possible.

Crime is the plague of Europe and if the issue is not dealt with properly it could have worrying implications both politically and socially. The leader of the Balearic government Francesc Antich has asked Madrid to send more officers to the island, hopefully his call will not fall on deaf ears.

Jason Moore

Euro soundings
While Tony Blair and Gordon Brown argue about whether the advantages to Britain of joining the euro are “clear and unambiguous”, as they are required to be before a referendum can be held, the great British public remains in serene ignorance about many aspects of the EU currency. A poll taken last month showed that more than half of those questioned did not know that twelve national currencies have already been replaced by the euro. A similar proportion did not know what a euro is worth in sterling (62p) and some 66 per cent did not know that two other countries have still to decide whether to join the single currency (Denmark and Sweden).

Despite these considerable gaps in awareness of euro matters, a surprising 72 per cent of Britons expressed a gut feeling that the pound sterling will eventually disappear and be replaced by the euro. At the same time, 32 per cent believed that adopting the euro would cause “a lot of problems” and 47 per cent (perhaps those who remember decimalisation) believed it would cause ”abusive” price rises.

Meanwhile, a new pamphlet,Left Behind?, has been issued by a pro–euro left–wing group of MPs campaigning under the name Britain in Europe whose members include some of Labour's “awkward squad” – Tam Dalyell, Peter Kilfoyle and Lord Hattersley. In the pamphlet Lord Hattersley says that ”The old superstitions and prejudices are being destroyed one by one; it cannot be long before a referendum is called.”



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