The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Monday 4 July 2016

Image: David Sykes

Double whammy

Some 16 million British people – at least – do not want to leave the EU; they want to have freedom of movement for themselves and their children and not be trapped on an island with the Brexiteers. Meanwhile, Greece needs new lines of credit and sources of income. So Greece should set up a Bureaux for Honorary Greeks and offer passports for sale at €5,000 a pop. These can be offered with no rights to any benefits, voting and so on but simply the right to work and reside in any European nation. That could be €80bn in the bank. What’s not to like? The Remainers can remain, the Greeks can make some cash and the rest of the EU can know that the only people wandering around with Honorary Greek passports are friendly and pro-European. Mr Tsipras, we are ready to take your call. Or if you want to read about the power of a good passport, get a copy of How to Make a Nation: A Monocle Guide from The Monocle Shop.

Image: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Arnie comes to Asia

As competition to attract visitors hots up, Hong Kong is adding a curious addition to the summer calendar of global sporting events. This year Arnold Schwarzenegger is bringing the Arnold Classic to Asia for the first time. The former California governor’s multi-sports festival, which has been held annually in Ohio since 1989, will be tailored to local tastes: martial arts will join an already-peculiar mix of chess, rugby and bodybuilding. Hong Kong is set to become the festival’s permanent Asian home, with the inaugural event between 19 and 21 August coinciding with the last leg of track-and-field events at the Olympics in Rio. Arnie’s spectacle has one advantage over the Olympic events among Asian sports fans: a more agreeable time zone.

Image: Solar Roadways

Walk this way

Missouri is revving up to be the first state in the US to roll out solar paving on a public road. The state’s Department of Transportation (DoT) has announced that a portion of the historic Route 66, which extends nearly 4,000km across the country, will be updated with the energy-generating panels. As the panels are pricey Missouri plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign to help cover costs. Solar roads are being increasingly installed across Europe: the Netherlands built its first solar road in Amsterdam in 2014 and this year France announced plans to install 1,000km of solar roadways over the next five years. With the US’s extensive network of roads – not to mention its high numbers of gas-guzzling vehicles – many are excited about the prospect of solar roads reducing the country’s carbon footprint. As for Missouri’s solar panels, the DoT hopes they will be up and running by the end of the year.

Image: Alamy

Breaking the bank?

Japan’s lacklustre economy is hurting white-collar workers, leaving them with less pocket money now than at any time in the past three decades. According to a survey conducted by Tokyo-based lender Shinsei Bank, male salaried employees’ average monthly spending money slid to ¥37,873 (€331), less than half of the level in 1990 and close to levels in the early 1980s. Working women had even less spending money at ¥33,502 (€293), a record low. Shinsei’s consumer financing unit has kept track of Japanese male workers’ spending habits since 1979; it started collecting data on women in 2014.

From Monocle 24

Eureka #4: Jason Price

US-born, London-based Jason Price shares highlights of a globetrotting life immersed in music and explains how he built Tarisio, the world’s premier fine-instrument auction house.

From Monocle Films

Boutique Norway

Monocle Films heads to Norway’s third-largest city, Stavanger, to discover how the boom town’s oil reserves are spurring on entrepreneurs who are looking to add variety and quality to this once-understated retail scene.

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