x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Dream team not so far-fetched

A reader says it's understandable that European football fans would believe false rumours of a Qatar-based league. Other topics: the Cyprus bailout, landfill and Tony Blair.

A reader notes that European football fans are likely to believe rumours concerning potential buyers or sellers. PA
A reader notes that European football fans are likely to believe rumours concerning potential buyers or sellers. PA

Any rush on banks in Cyprus will hurt whole euro zone

I am writing in response to Shared currency makes no sense (March 21), about the proposed bailout of the Cyprus banking system.

If the Cyprus government tries to take a percentage of depositors' money, even at the reduced rate now being proposed, it will start a run on that country's banks and do irreparable damage to all banks in the euro zone.

I know of many people who will withdraw all their funds from Cyprus if it comes to that, and many who will withdraw their funds from other banks in the euro zone.

The precedent set by this action would be mind-boggling; few people will want to do business with banks in Italy, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Greece or any other country in possible need of a bailout.

They will probably transfer their funds to other havens which will deprive the euro zone banks of billions, possibly trillions, of euros.

This will affect everything, including the rental of flats and villas, as landlords will probably insist on payments being made outside the jurisdiction.

Companies operating in Cyprus will shut up shop and open in Mauritius or another country that they perceive to be safer.

This will lead to the possible loss of thousands of jobs in Cyprus. Who then will pay for the fallout?

Jeremy Weeks, Abu Dhabi

Window cleaners' lives are in danger

Residents flee shattering glass (March 20) describes how high winds forced a cleaner's cradle into a window on a high-rise residential building.

The window-cleaning companies should not be putting these workers' lives in danger by having them go up in bad weather conditions.

The cleaners are paid a pittance. Is having clean windows worth a worker's life?

C Murray, Dubai

Fining patients not a solution

Missed appointments to cost patients (March 21) says patients at Lifeline hospital in Jebel Ali will be fined Dh50 if they fail to turn up without notice.

This is a bad idea. For such a negligible amount, the hospital is going to confuse, anger and lose patients.

While 10 per cent is a lot of no-shows, I think charging people will cause a bigger loss, as these people will never come back.

Instead, hospital staff should confirm appointments multiple times, and highlight who the "repeat offenders" are. These people than can be warned that they face a penalty.

S Mikdadi, Abu Dhabi

Fair assessment of Blair's role in Iraq

I am writing in reference to Invasion is Blair's blighted legacy (March 20), about former British prime minister Tony Blair's involvement in the Iraq war.

I totally agree with the assessment that "in the court of public opinion, he will be on trial for the rest of his life".

A Al Hammadi, Dubai

Don't let landfill be our legacy

I am concerned about the amount of landfill generated every day.

Rubbish has become one of civilisation's biggest challenges. Go to the supermarket, buy some apples, what do you get? A polystyrene carton and cellophane wrap, a plastic bag - and six apples.

The apples will be consumed over the next few days; the plastic bag, the cellophane and the polystyrene carton will still be here long after we are all dead.

We really need to get a grip on this reality. Proposals to impose a mandatory levy of Dh1 on a plastic bag will do no good. Maybe people will start to care if they are charged Dh10 per plastic bag.

We have a throwaway society; what kind of a future are we bequeathing our children?

P Nixon, Abu Dhabi

Football rumours too easy to believe

I enjoyed reading Osman Samiuddin's article, Hoax a sign of the times (March 20), about the false rumours of a Qatar-based "Dream Football League".

With all the investment in European football teams from Gulf interests, coupled with Qatar's surprise success in gaining the World Cup finals in 2018, nothing shocks this hard-bitten football fan.

I have just read that the Bahraini owner may be putting my beloved Leeds United up for sale again. It is no surprise that European fans are cynical about buyouts - and not just those from the Gulf - and this fact propagates hoaxes.

The potential Leeds sale only reinforces Samiuddin's complaint that these stories "reduce the region's relationship with football to a commercial or transactional one".

I am aware that the beautiful game is much loved in the Gulf, but European football fans will continue to be cynical about foreign buyers' motives.

David Simon, Abu Dhabi