John Davies is a senior corporate partner at leading commercial law firm Thrings.
Each month John addresses a topical news or business-related issue and gives his thoughts in a frank and comical way. This time he discusses the Greek bailout.
As I sit and scribble the latest instalment of ‘Is it me?’, it’s just been announced that the Eurozone leaders have struck a deal with Greece over its ongoing debt crisis.
It appears that after a marathon twenty-hour session, European leaders have thrashed out a plan to inject a mere £61billion over the next three years into the Greek economy.
It’s safe to say that all six of Greece’s numbers and the bonus ball have just popped up on this week’s EuroMillions game.
The crisis has been all over the news and has caused as much confusion as it has enlightenment.
Would a Grexit be a disaster?
What would it mean for Europe?
What would it mean for you and me?
Few people seem to know or fully understand what the consequences might have been. I’ve therefore decided to simplify things and see whether Greece has added £61billion worth of benefit to my life. I’ve got be honest……it’s close.
I love Daley Thompson, Jess Ennis-Hill, Sir Steve Redgrave and Eddie the Eagle. But without Greece, would the Olympics exist? That’s got to be worth a good £21billion. The Greeks also gave us less significant but still important things such as theatre, mathematics (oh, the irony), trial by jury and, of course, democracy. Added together at least another £20billion?
That still leaves another £20billion to find then.
If it were France or Spain they’d have cracked it on the wine front alone (sorry Greece, but your Ouzo doesn’t cut it for me). If it were Germany they’d have cracked it on the sizing of clothes. Germany is a great place to shop for a big lad. A German medium is equivalent to a UK XL – great for your self esteem! So where does that leave Greece?
Well I’m a huge fan of moussaka, kleftiko, stifado and of course the classic that is the Greek salad (it’s the saltiness of the feta against the sweet onion that does it). I’m therefore going to allow Greece the bailout cash on this occasion. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in three years’ time.
A final thought. I’m reminded of the time that Dai Williams, Mayor of Pontypandy, went to Greece on a town twinning mission. He was so impressed with the splendour of his opposite number’s house he had to ask, “How did you afford such a wonderful house?” The Greek Mayor said, “Dai, you see that magnificent bridge straddling the beautiful river?” And Dai said, “No”. “Exactly!” said the Greek Mayor.
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