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Royal Wedding Becomes National Economic Crisis for UK

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The loudest wedding bells ever heard are ringing.

Last week, Prince William announced his planned April wedding to long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton. While this is happy news for the Royal Family, the real winners are the millions who will be given an extra bank holiday to celebrate the holy matrimony.

The Telegraph reports that the wedding, set for Friday, April 29, 2011, along with holidays for Easter and May Day, will ensure that “Britain will be open for business on only three days between April 22 and May 2.”

It's estimated that £6 billion in productivity and overtime payments will be lost in the British economy because of the extra holiday, according to the CBI. Small businesses are feeling the harshest effects, according to the Telegraph, as consumer demand has slowed and many were counting on the added business from Easter to get them through tough times. However some retailers and business owners are expecting the day off to bring in added revenue from tourists, shoppers, and carousers. Through these outlets, the economy is expected to make back about £1 billion of the losses.

Another emerging concern is that workers will use this stretch as their annual leave, or simply call in sick to extend their holiday.

And with European countries in dire straits -- a bailout for Ireland coming and Portugal and Spain next in line -- is this an ill-chosen time to concoct an excuse to relax? Maybe. However Yahoo News explains that "Britain, which has fewer public holidays than most European nations, has laws that allow the government to declare holidays to celebrate special occasions."

In fact, recent examples include Diana and Charles's wedding (1981), a Millennium holiday on December 31, 1999, and Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee (2002) which marked 50 years of her reign.

In a world rife with acrimony and tension, maybe a day off is exactly what the doctor ordered.
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