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Last Updated: Monday, 17 January, 2005, 19:17 GMT
Wales is left off the map again
Wales was left off the map by EU officials last October
Wales was left off the map by EU officials last October
Wales has been left off the official map for the second time in three months.

An insurance company has told a customer of 10 years in south east Wales that it could not renew his policy because Wales was not a country.

Last October EU statisticians airbrushed Wales off the front cover of their annual official yearbook.

In the latest "missing Wales" episode the firm has apologised, saying it was an inputting error.

Sentinel Card Protection told 71-year-old Bernard Zavishlock, from Abergavenny, last month that it could not renew the insurance policy he had held for 10 years because Wales was "an unknown country".

"Initially, I thought it was a bit of a laugh really but I would have thought a more fervent Welshman would be more upset about it," said the pensioner.

Wales is Wales as much as Scotland is Scotland
Bernard Zavishlock

"It is stupid really, in this day and age, when we are trying to make Wales known to everybody that people in our own country don't know we exist.

"Wales is Wales as much as Scotland is Scotland".

Mr Zavishlock said he had now bought insurance from another company.

A spokeswoman for Sentinel Card Protection said: "We unfortunately sent a letter in error to a customer in Wales stating that he could not renew his policy because he lived outside of the UK.

Compensate

"To our knowledge, this is the only customer who received this letter in error and was the result of the customer's address being incorrectly input onto our database.

"We have since contacted the customer in question to apologise and have offered him a year's free Sentinel Card Protection to compensate for any inconvenience caused."

In October last year Wales was missed off a map used by European Union statisticians to illustrate the front cover of their official annual yearbook.

The map of Europe on the front of the Eurostat Yearbook 2004 showed England and Scotland in the correct position.

But between the Welsh border and Ireland there was nothing but the Irish Sea.

A spokesperson said that the omission was a "design fault" and the European Commission later sent a "grovelling letter of apology" to First Minister, Rhodri Morgan.




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