Dutch Boy's Greek Debt 'Pizza' Plan Gets Award
While some of the best economic minds have worked night and day to find a solution to the Eurozone financial crisis, an 11-year-old Dutch boy has found a unique, if not exactly practical, answer to the thorny problem.
Jurre Hermans entered the Wolfson Economics Prize, which asked contestants to figure out "how best to manage a member state leaving the euro."
Hermans suggested that Greeks should exchange their euros for their former currency, the drachma. The Greek government would then be free to pool these euros in a financial "pizza" and pay off their debt.
"Everyone who has a debt gets a slice of pizza," Hermans described in his entry.
Dividing the euro "pizza" is only Hermans' first step, he then describes "the clever part of [his] idea." Greek citizens who do not hand over their euros would then be subject to a financial penalty equal to or exceeding to the amount they were hiding.
"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," Hermans wrote. "I hope my idea helps you!!!"
Hermans was inspired to enter the contest for the Wolfson Economics Prize, since he was "quite worried about the eurocrisis problem."
At age 10 when he submitted his entry, Hermans was the youngest contestant among the 425 entries. He was given an honorable mention from the prize committee and awarded 100 pounds in vouchers for his attempt.
Hermans told the Associated Press came up with his idea to enter after watching a Dutch news show.
""I saw it on television and said, 'why don't they do that?"'
In spite of his early success, Hermans' father, Julius, says he does not expect his son to go into economics.
"He wants to do something with animals," Julius told the Associated Press. "He's not particularly interested in politics or economics. He started thinking about it because it is getting so much attention in the media."
The Wolfson Economic Prize, which awards 250,000 pounds to the winner, is sponsored by the family charity trust of Lord Simon Wolfson, a conservative member of the U.K's House of Lords. The prize is run by the think tank Policy Exchange.
"Sadly, the risk of a country leaving the eurozone has not gone away," Lord Wolfson said during the announcement of the finalists. "The ideas contained in these entries are an invaluable contribution to tackling this important issue."
The prize's five shortlisted finalists will each receive 10,000 pounds to continue their work ahead of the prize's award on July 5.
Although the pedigree of the five finalists are impressive, only Hermans' background includes "five friends with whom I play all day, mostly outside."
The AP contributed to this report.