In this bizarre modern world of exploitative philatelic agencies and new philatelic products which are often poorly designed and printed, badly researched, irrelevant in subject matter to the territory whose name is printed on them and sometimes actually in desperately bad taste, the name of Stamperija towers above all others in its awfulness. Its latest products which have the name of Mozambique printed on them are a wonderful example of the sort of stuff that the agency is producing in the hope of bleeding collectors of their money.
There will be few who do not know about the scandals which in recent months have engulfed the body which oversees world football, FIFA, as well as some of its (now former) senior officials and how the head of the organisation, Sepp Blatter, was forced to resign because of everything that was going on while he was in charge of FIFA. You would not think that Blatter was a suitable candidate for philatelic commemoration but those who run Stamperija think differently and have put out a "sheetlet" of 4 "stamps" in the name of Mozambique, its client postal administration, 2 of which feature Blatter prominently at the height of his power. The issue, said to have been released on 15 October 2015 commemorates the awarding of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals to Russia.
One of the items also depicts Michel Platini who was head of UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) until he was forced to resign because of the engulfing football scandals. A worthy "stamp" for any collection - a double portrait of Blatter and Platini. And just to ensure that this sheetlet will be one of the most notorious philatelic items of modern times, a second "stamp" depicts a smug-looking Blatter with an even more smug-looking Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who has supported the Syrian tyrant Assad throughout the terrible Syrian civil war and seized Crimea from Ukraine and fomented civil war in eastern Ukraine. The design features the 2 men grasping each other's hands after the award of the 2018 World Cup Finals to Russia.
It seems fitting that a philatelic agency like Stamperija should commemorate the recent events in FIFA and give prominence to a man like Blatter - somehow they seem to be 2 peas in the same pod.
In addition to these outrageous philatelic items, other products (each taking the form of "sheetlets" of 4 different "stamps" and accompanying "miniature sheets") have been released on the following subjects:- Lunar new year (Year of the Monkey), Diana Princess of Wales, Boy Scouting, 70th anniversary of The United Nations, Cormorants, Jacanas, Butterflies, Albatrosses, Owls, Turtles, Dolphins, Lions, Endangered mammals and Minerals. Rating:- 0.
But Stamperija does not finish there. It has also put out a set of philatelic products with the name of Maldives printed on them and stated to have been issued on 18 January 2016. This issue does not feature any dubious characters - the subjects covered are:- the Discovery of liquid salty water on Mars, Tall ships, Seaplanes, British trains, the Maldivian Red Crescent, Lighthouses, Fire engines, the Apollo space missions and in contrast to the Mozambique-labelled Blatter items, some worthy individuals in the form of winners of the 2015 Nobel Prizes. In all there are 9 sets each of a "sheetlet" containing 4 different "stamps" each accompanied by a "miniature sheet". The total face value of this 'set', excluding all the "Deluxe" imperforate stuff, is Rf1332 or an astonishing £61.46. Rating:- 0.
Meanwhile, IGPC, has new products inscribed "St. Vincent And The Grenadines" for sale. The following are all said to have been issued on 28 January 2016 and all take the form of "sheetlets" of 6 different "stamps". They are the second parts of other items on the same subjects all said to have been "issued" on the same date (see Blog 712):-
Flowers and plants:-