Cicero is widely believed to have been one of the greatest thinkers of ancient Rome. However, if his latest post is anything to go by, the Liberal Democrat blogger going by that handle falls far short of living up to his name!
The post attacks Telegraph journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, who wrote a story for last Friday's paper suggesting that some Germans are rejecting Euro banknotes from certain countries, and preferring German Euros.
Ordinary Germans have begun to reject euro bank notes with serial numbers from Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal, raising concerns that public support for monetary union may be waning in the eurozone's anchor country.
In the article, Evans-Pritchard cited the source for this story as being the German financial newspaper Handelsblatt. Despite this, Cicero complained that he could find "no other reference" to the story, and suggested that Evans-Pritchard had, in effect, made it up.
In an update to his post, Cicero went even further:
UPDATE: I have continued to look, and there is no evidence at all, nor any source for Ambrose Evans Pritchard's story.
It is fiction, plain and simple.
This is a disgrace, and shows the depths that the anti Europeans are prepared to go to spread completely untrue stories.
Well, Cicero can't have tried very hard to find it. The source was, after all, mentioned in the article. Perhaps because it was (unsurprisingly enough) in German, a swift Google didn't pick it up - but it took me just a couple of minutes to dig up the story on the relevant newspaper's website. Did it not occur to him that a story about Germany might be in German?
Roughly translated, part of the linked article from Handelsblatt reads:
Bankers report that once in a while customers make an unusual request. When taking out cash they ask for the notes with German markings...
Cicero, if you are reading this, your post regarding Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is disgraceful. I can only assume you were so eager to land a punch on a Eurosceptic that honesty took a back seat. To accuse a journalist of peddling fiction on the basis of what has clearly been no research whatsoever is contemptible.