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Better together: Europe pleads with Britain to Remain

Poland\'s Fakt tabloid echoed the sentiment, splashing the words \"Britons! Stay with us\" across its front page Thursday.

Published: 23rd June 2016 11:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2016 11:05 PM   |  A+A-

Britain EU_Mukh (2)

A woman leaves a polling station at the White Horse Inn in Priors Dean, Hampshire, England also known as the 'Pub with no name' after voting in the EU referendum. |AP

By AFP

PARIS: From a World Cup goal to free croissants and a ban on frothy beer, Europe has gone on a last-minute charm offensive with a slew of creative and quirky pleas for Britain to stay in the EU.

Here is a rundown of Europe's best bids to capture British hearts and minds.

1966 and sunbed warfare

Bestselling German tabloid Bild vowed Thursday to end decades of low-intensity warfare between British and German holidaymakers by announcing that henceforth its countrymen would use their beach towels to reserve prime pool-side sports for their UK friends -- if they vote to remain.

Other sweeteners offered up by Bild included a vow to finally recognise Geoff Hurst's controversial goal for England at the 1966 World Cup final, an offer to put Germany's clocks back an hour to London time, a pledge to abandon sun cream in solidarity with sunburnt Brits and a promise not to mock Prince Charles' ears.

But for die-hard England fans watching Euro 2016 with trepidation, Bild's pledge that the German side would go without a goalkeeper during the teams' next penalty shootout will be difficult to ignore.

And who could resist the paper's promise, should Britain vote to remain, to ban frothy heads from beer? Pints all round.

'We hate EU too'

Danish national daily Berlingske didn't mince its words when it published a cartoon of an umbrella-carrying, bowler hat-wearing Briton whose Union flag attire had been half ripped off by a slamming door emblazoned with the EU flag.

"As a nation, we in Denmark understand your scepticism about the EU, perhaps better than any other country. Three times we voted no -- in 1992, 2000 and 2015 -- but never out," the right-wing daily wrote.

 'Operation Croissant'

French fans of Britain-in-Europe had planned to hand commuters at London's King's Cross station croissants freshly baked in Paris and shuttled to the UK aboard the Eurostar.

But the audacious "Operation Croissant" was thwarted Wednesday when British police intervened, citing laws banning campaigners from providing food to the electorate in the run-up to a vote because it could corrupt the result.

Instead the 15 eager young French volunteers handed out postcards with handwritten messages from French nationals.

"The only thing we, the French, do not strike over is love," wrote Marie, 15, from Paris.

'Please don't go!'

German news magazine Der Spiegel made an unequivocal, bilingual bid for continued British membership of Europe last week, splashing its edition with a Union flag and the words "Bitte Geht Nicht!", helpfully translated above for monoglot Britons: "PLEASE DON'T GO!".

Poland's Fakt tabloid echoed the sentiment, splashing the words "Britons! Stay with us" across its front page Thursday.

Back to back, side by side

French leftwing daily Liberation published a "reversible" issue Thursday, with the front page adorned in "franglais" with the words "Who is in?" (Qui est in?) over a man with a face painted half with the Union flag and half with the EU colours.

The back page was covered with "Who is out?" (Qui est out?) with the same man sporting just a Union flag paint job.

The "In" section of the paper carried a pro-remain editorial by British Sunday newspaper The Observer, five reasons to stay, a profile of Prime Minister David Cameron and a dispatch from Leicester, described as the most cosmopolitan town in Britain.

The "Out" section had a profile of leading pro-Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson, five reasons to leave and a dispatch from a former mining heartland in Wales where the "Leave" campaign has had a sympathetic hearing.

A shining example

Several monuments across Europe had vast Union flags projected onto them including Vienna's vast MuseumsQuariter cultural complex on Wednesday night and Warsaw's imposing, Soviet-era Palace of Culture on Tuesday.

Madrid's city hall was illuminated with the colours of the Union flag -- red, white and blue.

A Union flag was also seen draped over a replica of Michaelangelo's David located on the spot where the original once stood in Florence, northern Italy.

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