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Jurre Hermans, Dutch 11-Year-Old, Given Wolfson Prize Commendation For Plan To Save Eurozone

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Jurre Hermans compared the debt problem to a pizza
Jurre Hermans compared the debt problem to a pizza

A schoolboy from the Netherlands has received a commendation for his proposal to save the eurozone, gaining the attention of some of Europe's foremost economic minds.

Jurre Hermans put together a plan in which the Greek euro would be exchanged for the country's old currency, the drachma, as part of an entry for the Wolfson Prize.

The 11-year-old, who asked for his father’s help only with the translation for his entry, compared the Greek debt to a pizza, suggesting that euros should be exchanged for debt repayment. The returned cash would form a cash pizza, with slices cut off and given to creditors. Those not returning Euros would be fined.

Although the plan didn’t make the final shortlist for the prize, it did receive a special mention.

The competition, which is named after Lord Wolfson and comes with a £250,000 cash prize, posed the following question:

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

On the prize, Lord Wolfson told the BBC: "What we are looking for is a way that if the eurozone collapses, contracts [then] people's debts, mortgages can be managed to cause the minimum amount of pain when the structure collapses and to leave Europe in the best possible position to return to prosperity."

Hermans said he came up with a plan because he was worried about the current state of the eurozone.

"I am quite worried about the euro crisis and look at the TV news daily,” read his submission. “The euro crisis 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."

Those shortlisted for the prize are:
  • Cathy Dobbs, private investor
  • Roger Bootle and team, Capital Economics
  • Neil Record, Record Currency Management
  • Jens Nordvig and Nick Firoozye, Nomura Securities
  • Jonathan Tepper, Variant Perception

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