Letters to the editor

Plain tobacco packs

[Re: MPs say plain packaging will not lead to illegal trade, Monday]

I have worked in the packaging industry for over 40 years and plain packaging for tobacco will have unintended consequences. The production of packaging is complex. Printing techniques for branding employ enhanced design features, like embossing, hot-foil stamping and UV varnish. But health warnings on plain packaging can be reproduced using low-cost printing techniques with equipment readily available in the market. Any move to plain packaging will help counterfeiters. The government’s aim of reducing the number of young smokers should be supported, but the effect of plain packaging could be the opposite. Results from Germany indicate that better education, information and cultural awareness deter young people. This is what should be adopted in Britain.
Mike Ridgway, former managing director of Weidenhammer UK

[Re: Cyprus could herald the slow death of moral hazard, yesterday]

This article makes a fair point, but as with Lehman Brothers (I should know, I worked there), the manner in which the experiment was conducted in Cyprus was dangerously shambolic. The inviolability of the deposit guarantee scheme has been called into question, and it’s not unreasonable to say that there will inevitably be repercussions along the line.

Simon Richards



Iceland has had capital controls for five years. For Cypriot leaders to say “some weeks, some months” is disingenuous.

Amused to see papers praising Cypriot deal for bondholder and large depositor haircuts. Where were such sentiments in 2008?

Capital controls in a monetary union? Doesn’t that mean a euro is worth less in Cyprus than the rest of the Eurozone?

East Coast franchise is in the news again. Why not allow full open access. Why are franchises given monopolies on routes?