IT was a threat in French, a threat in German and a threat in Spanish.

But not English.

Continental newspapers quickly summed up Chancellor George Osborne's promise to veto a currency union as an act of menace.

Those in the Anglo-Saxon world were more inclined to see it as a fair warning.

"London threatens Scotland with monetary split," announced Le Monde in Paris, explaining that, despite some progress for Yes in the polls, the main worry of Scots was about the effects of independence on the economy.

Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine said the threats on the pound came from "English politicians". The t-word word was used by Spiegel too and German TV. Russian news wire Lenta was tougher still: Britain would "ban" Scotland from using the pound.

El Universal in Caracas, Venezuela, also said the UK was "threatening" Scotland. The theme was pretty consistent.

Madrid media - which, with one eye on its own breakaway nations, is sometimes fervently pro-union - also saw menaces. But from Holyrood, not Westminster. "Edinburgh has threatened not to pay its debt if it can't use Sterling," said El Mundo, before adding: "The three big UK parties have made common cause in saying they would prevent Scotland from continuing to use their currency if it goes independent."

Catalan media, on the other hand, were more sympathetic to the SNP. Barcelona daily La Vanguardia headlined on Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon saying "It's our currency as much as it is theirs". Mass audience Catalan web newspaper Vilaweb, which supports independence, repeated that London had "threatened" Scotland.

Its editor, Vicent Partal, later saying the English had started to copy the hardline (but very counter-productive) tactics of Spanish conservatives. Was this because Yes was gaining in the polls, he asked.

The slight rise in support for Yes in the polls seems to have piqued the interest of some foreign newspapers - as has the "Good Cop, Bad Cop" rhetoric of Prime Minister Cameron and Mr Osborne.

Italian business daily Il Solo 24 Ore on Thursday ran a feature on Mr Cameron wrapping himself in red, white and blue with the headline: "Scotland, the secession that frightens London."

English-language media in North America was far more generous in its reporting on Mr Osborne.

The Globe and Mail in Canada, which has been consistently highly partisan on Scottish matters, said: "Britain warns Scotland: Forget the pound if you walk away."

It described Mr Osborn's sterling gambit as "the most aggressive attempt yet to scuttle a nationalist bid to break the 307-year-old union with England".

It added: "In the latest salvo of a choreographed British campaign to keep Scotland in the UK, George Osborne sought to play on Scottish fears of losing the pound to argue that secession would cost Scots dearly and cast them into a tempest of volatility." The Washington Post also highlighted the different approaches made by Tory ministers. It said: "Osborne's remarks signal an intensification of the debate over independence and mark a contrast to the "love-bombing" approach of Prime Minister David Cameron."

Some writers, meanwhile, began to wonder what the Osborne gambit would mean. "So what would happen if Scotland kept the pound despite London's refusal?" asked France's La Tribune. "Edinburgh," it concluded, "could declare the British currency as the only legal tender in Scotland." And London, it added, could do nothing about it.