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This American TV Host Has Absolutely No Idea Ireland Uses The Euro

So this got very awkward, very quickly.

Posted on November 4, 2014, at 5:42 a.m. ET

Martin Shanahan, the head of Ireland’s foreign development agency, appeared on CNBC’s popular business show Squawk Box on Monday.

View this video on YouTube

Everything was going well, apart from the presenters’ insistence on asking him if Ireland’s low-tax policy was the reason behind the country’s golfing success, until they got on to the subject of the euro.

Watch the confusion unfold in the video above after Shanahan is asked: “What has the weaker euro meant in terms of tourism?”

As he tries to respond, co-anchor Joe Kernen injects with: “You have pounds anyway, don’t you, still?”

The IDA Ireland chief executive, clearly rather surprised by the question, is forced to explain that Ireland does in fact use euros.

And then it all gets very embarrassing as the American host appears unwilling to accept Ireland’s currency, and asks why the country decided to adopt the euro.

Kernen: Why [do] you have euros in Ireland?
Shanahan: Why wouldn't we have euros in Ireland?
Kernen: Huh? I'd use the pound.
Shanahan: No, we've had the euro for some time and we're very happy with it.
Kernen: What about Scotland? I was using…Scottish, ugh…
Shanahan: Scottish pounds, yes. They use sterling.
Kernen: They use sterling?
Shanahan: They use sterling. But we use euro.
Kernen: What? Why would you do that?
Shanahan: Why wouldn't we do that?
Kernen: Why didn't Scotland?
Shanahan: It's part of the UK, we're not.
Kernen: Aren't you right next to, errr...? [motions with hands]
Shanahan: We're very close but entirely separate.
Kernen: It's sort of the same island isn't it?
Shanahan: In the north of Ireland they have sterling.
Kernen: They do?
Shanahan: But we use euro.
Kernen: That's just too confusing.

After another question on tourism from his co-host, Kernen, still unable to grasp the concept of Ireland using the euro, returns to the topic:

Kernen: Northern Ireland has the pound?
Shanahan: Yes.
Kernen: Oh my god, you guys have got to get it together over there.

And then:

Kernen: Northern Ireland should be the one not using the pound.
Shanahan: I'm not sure I follow your logic entirely.
Kernen: Well because they want to break away like Scotland. I don't know.

Following yet another discussion about golf, Kernen ends the segment with: “But you use the euro – you should never have done that. Anyway, thank you.”

Oh dear.