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Listed under Islands in The United Kingdom.

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I first visited Jersey about 20 years ago. Back then, the Bergerac TV-series were all the rage (about Jim Bergerac, ruggedly handsome sergeant of the Bureau des Étrangers). Before leaving for the islands, I got some DVDs of that 80s show and got my oldest daughter a bit hooked.

Surprisingly (and annoyingly) St Helier looked nothing like I remembered. Today, it's full of shops and cafés. Didn’t see those back then. Was my memory failing? Of course many of the shops wouldn’t have been here then. Top Shop, for example. But surely some were: BH, Marks & Spencer...? Luckily for my sanity, I did at least remember the Victorian fruit and vegetable market.

Many are the theories as to the origin of the name Jersey. Generally there seems to be agreement on the ending -ey coming from the norse word ey (island). At least Vikings roamed here, as they did everywhere in their – or dare I say, our –heydey. Like the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands are neither part of Great Britain nor the United Kingdom, but are part of the British Isles.

That’s not the only similarity with Man. Jersey is also quite the finance hub and taxes are low. Income tax is a flat 20 % and there’s no VAT. A GST was introduced only a few years ago. It’s 3 %! Coming from Norway, where the sales tax is 25 %, I can only laugh at that

Written by  Anne-Sophie Redisch.

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