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The Full Picture: What they didn’t tell you
The news and contemporary media can be a great source of information on global events, politics, weather and sports. But the mainstream news can often be bias, pushing some happenings more than others, focusing on some topics heavily and neglecting others.
Here at MoneyMagpie, we believe in the importance of sharing the latest that many mainstream outlets may have failed to, or deliberately chose not to, cover.
Every week, we’ll be rounding up some of the top stories that you may have missed.
Slovakia has rewritten its constitution in response to fears over a potential “digital euro”.
The Slovak Parliament passed the proposed law, which enshrines new legal rights to cash payment, on June 15, in what has been described as a “preventative measure” to safeguard the country’s “financial sovereignty”.
Milo Svrek, who co-authored the bill, told MPs that the new legislation would protect Slovakian businesses and consumers “against any orders from the outside, saying there can only be the ‘digital euro’ and no other payment options”.
The move by the European Union (EU) member state follows recent discussions by Brussels about a possible EU-wide Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) similar to Nigeria’s ill-fated eNaira or the proposed “Britcoin” currently under consultation in the UK.
CBDC’s are viewed with suspicion by many civil rights’ campaigners, economists and experts, as our founder Jasmine has previously reported, not least because of there possible misuse by future authoritarian governments.
Unlike cash or debit card payments, CBDCs are “programmable”, meaning a government or central bank is able to place controls on what the ‘digital euro’, eNaira or Britcoin is spent on. CBDCs could also, theoretically, have expiry dates applied to them by central banks to make consumers spend money during a recession.
Contrary to some reports, the amendments to the Slovak constitution will not give consumers the right to pay by cash in shops.
Confusingly, the bill intends to both protect consumers’ rights to use cash as a form of payment, while also enshrining store owners’ legal right to refuse cash payments in order to safeguard business owners from “robberies and exposure to germs” among other things.
Campaigners in Warrington are celebrating the removal of anti-car barriers erected as part of a controversial “low-traffic neighbourhood” scheme or LTN.
The removal of bollards in the Westy area of Warrington last week marks the second successful challenge of an LTN scheme in the Cheshire town, which closed several key roads in June 2022.
Like similar schemes elsewhere in the UK, the restrictions in Westy are claimed to have led to more congestion in the area, with angry residents complaining of longer journeys and delays.
Warrington is one of a number of councils to have trialed “low-traffic neighbourhoods”, “low-emission zones” or other anti-car measures in recent years.
The restrictions are sometimes promoted under the euphemism “15-minute cities”, a shorthand for the zoning of urban areas to limit free movement.
Under plans being introduced in Oxford, Bath and Canterbury, residents will face fines for frequently leaving their designated zone.
Other schemes to curb car use are being rolled out in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow among others.
On July 4, London Mayor Sadiq Khan will face a High Court showdown over his plans to expand the capital’s so-called Ultra Low-Emission Zone (Ulez), with five Conservative-run councils trying to block the August expansion.
Meanwhile, last week a senior BBC news producer accused the state broadcaster of engaging in “collusion” with Khan to stifle criticism of his scheme. The whistleblower told the Reform UK part’s 2024 mayoral candidate, Howard Cox, that Khan had applied pressure on BBC bosses to curb reporting on the issue. The BBC has previously faced criticism for its inaccurate coverage on the Ulez expansion, quoting false statistics on the number of cars likely to fall foul of the £12.50 daily charge.
More than 100 Ulez cameras been destroyed, damaged or stolen by campaigners opposed to the expansion.
Imperial College London claims LTNs could lead to a reduction in asthma deaths, however the science behind such assertions is disputed. The London borough of Lewisham saw pollution levels rise after restrictions were put in place.