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Saturday, 15 December 2007

Patras Parrot Crisis

This exquisite creature - handsomer and more interesting than the car whose place he's occupying - is at the centre of a dispute over street space in Patras. The Greeks will resolve this with fun and dignity and to the credit of Patras and the standing of Coco.

When a hapless Health and Safety Officer from Suffolk County Council cautioned officers of St.Edmundsbury Council about dangers posed to pedestrians by the array of hanging flower baskets that brightened the streets of that market town, the English papers had fun, but St.Edmundsbury's Tourist office rejoiced in the widest ever circulation of their flower adorned town square. (On reporting: It wasn't the town who spoke of a ban. There actually never was a ban and what journalist understands the difference between a County and a District in UK local government?) As others have observed, by taking a stand Coco will earn his owner's parking fine, pay for his space many times over through personal conversations with the press, bringing needed publicity to Patras. I rather suspect this was all planned beforehand for just that purpose.

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Simon Baddeley