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Wednesday 22 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
# Eurozone
See how an 11-year-old would fix the eurozone's Greek problem
Jurre Hermans got an honourable mention from the judging panel of the prestigious Wolfson Economic Prize.

AN 11-YEAR-OLD boy has come up with a solution for how to prepare for a break-up of the eurozone – and it’s caught the attention of a leading UK think tank.

Jurre Hermans was the youngest entrant for the Wolfson Economics Prize, which challenged economists and scholars to prepare a contingency plan for a break-up of the eurozone.

The five shortlisted entries were revealed today, but the judges also said that Jurre should receive a €100 gift voucher for his efforts.

The Dutch schoolboy focused on Greece in his application – and he didn’t hold back. Worried about the debt crisis, he said Greece should leave the euro – but first all Greek citizens should be forced to swap the currency for old drachmas.

Jurre, who has turned 11 since sending in his application last year, has even worked through some of the potential loopholes – anyone found hiding euros or trying to smuggle them abroad would be harshly penalised (financially).

His slightly scary theory came complete with a diagram, special euros-to-drachma exchange machine and a pizza. Brilliant.

Dear Sir and Madam,
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. Since I read in the newspaper about your price, I thought that I would like to submit my idea. The idea might fit. So here it is:
I made a picture of my solution and I will explain it to you.
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)
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 orn 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.
A bit more about myself: I am 10, love 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.
PS: My father helped me with my English translation as I speak Dutch
greetings from Holland,
Jurre Hermans

And here’s his diagram:

The Wolfson Economics Prize is the second-biggest cash prize to be awarded to an economist, beaten only by the Nobel Prize. This year’s question was:

If member states leave the Economic and Monetary Union, what is the best way for the economic process to be managed to provide the sounded foundation for the future growth and prosperity of the current membership?

The shortlist includes Roger Bootle and Mark Pragnell, Cathy Dobbs, Jens Nordvig and Nick Firoozye, Neil Record and Jonathan Tepper.

Download Jurre’s full application here>

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