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An 11-year-old’s solution to the euro crisis

at 10:40 AM ET, 04/03/2012

The Wolfson Economics Prize will be awarded to the best contingency plan for the breakup of the euro zone. All five finalists, which were announced Tuesday, are expert economists and financial analysts. But the judges also awarded a special mention to the youngest entrant, an 11-year-old boy from the Netherlands (he was 10 when he submitted the entry). Here’s Jurre Hermans’s plan for Greece to make an orderly exit from the euro zone, which he illustrated as well:

My name is Jurre Hermans. I am 10 years old and live in the Netherlands. I am quite worried about the eurocrisis and look at the TV news daily. The eurocrisis is a big problem. I think about solutions....Greece should leave the Euro. How do you do that? All Greek people should bring their Euro to the bank. They put it in an exchange machine (see left on my picture). You see, the Greek guy does not look happy!! The Greek man gets back Greek Drachme from the bank, their old currency. The Bank gives all these euro’s to the Greek Government (see topleft on my picture). All these euros together form a pancake or a pizza (see on top in the picture). Now the Greek government can start to pay back all their debts, everyone who has a debt gets a slice of the pizza. You see that all these euro’s in the pizza’s go the companies and banks who have given loans in greece (see right in my picture).


(Policy Exchange)
Hermans acknowledges that Greeks might not be happy about his plan to leave the euro, so he’s proposed a rather draconian solution:

Now here comes the clever part of my idea:
The Greek people do not want to exchange their Euro’s for Drachmes because they know that this Drachme will lose its value dramatically. They try to keep or hide their Euro’s. They know that if they wait a while they will get more Drachmes. So if a Greek man tries to keep his Euros (or bring his euros to a bank in an other country like Holland [or] Germany) and it is discovered, he gets a penalty just as high or double as the whole amount in euros he tried to hide!!! In this way I ensure that all Greeks bring their euros to a greek bank and so the greek government can pay back all the debts. I hope my idea helps you!!!!
Of course if a country has paid back all his debts , he can return to the eurozone.

Rest assured, young Hermans isn’t spending all day mulling over policy solutions for the debt crisis. As he explains in his entry, he loves “animals since I have a dog and a bird. I live in a family of 5 in Holland. I have 5 friends with whom I play all day, mostly outside.”

 
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