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31.8.03

Those crazy Finns

Man Of Principle Will Not Touch Euro Notes Or Coins

[74-year-old Helge] Kaalikoski has not laid one finger on a euro note or coin during the twenty months that the common European currency has been legal tender in Finland.

Kaalikoski spends his days in retirement along the shores of Lake Päijänne in Asikkala. He needs to leave the peace and quiet of his rocky cape every now and then to attend to some business in the nearest city, Lahti. Once he gets there, he must park his red Lada somewhere. But as Kaalikoski cannot handle euros, he puts no money in the parking meters.

In the windscreen of the Lada, Kaalikoski leaves a notice for parking inspectors, listing the facts: the legal tender in Finland is the markka. There is no law on the euro, and Kaalikoski is a law-abiding citizen who does not use this currency. In the event that he receives a parking ticket, he will not pay it. The notice is politely signed below.

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