Question: What does a salmon say when it slams into a wall?
Speaking of slamming into walls, the nations of Greece and Germany are doing just that. Germany is insisting that Greece repay its debt in full by continuing the austerity measures that are crushing its economy and making it impossible to repay that debt. The Germans, of course, are ignoring their own past role as irresponsible lenders – it’s like watching your Dad loan his crack-addict brother money and then get pissed when the brother is unable to pay it back.
(In fairness, Greek citizens pay their full share of taxes about as often as Mitt Romney does. But moving on):
The Greeks don’t have much leverage here. Or so they think. Because they actually have one huge weapon on their side:
So here’s how Greece should fight back:
People in Northern Europe holiday in Southern Europe because it’s a quick flight away. So, during the Fall and Winter months Greece should impose a tourism ban on citizens of Germany and England. Get Portugal, Spain, and Italy to join in (these countries have somewhat similar debt situations). Now picture a German or an Englishman discussing their revised holiday plans:
“Well, kids, looks like we’ll have to go to Iraq or Afghanistan this year. Sure, people get blown up and beheaded there, but it’s real sunny.”
“Sorry mates, we had to move the bachelor party to North Africa. I know, I know, there’s no drinking allowed and there’s all that post Arab Spring turmoil. But ‘cmon, civil wars are totally exciting.”
“I know this great little beach near Hamburg, honey. It’s rocky and the water is forty degrees. Doesn’t that sound awesome?”
Sure, people would adapt by flocking to the south of France. But once a horde of humorless Germans and drunken English bach-partiers overrun their sunny chill zone, the French will revolt and sign on with Greece.
There’s a reason Americans still flock to Florida even though the chance of getting shot is high. People will risk almost anything for sunshine. It’s that important.