3 mins to read

Why the Greek Solution is simple

NBR Staff
Sat, 23 Jun 2012

The Greek solution is simple and will save the world billions.

It will put all the Greeks to work, thus producing a healthy tax revenue and lots of folk can have fun.

Turn Greece into one giant sports centre – a one-stop global home for the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, football world cup, rugby world cup, ladies’ beach volley ball world cup, Americas Cup and every other “world” sporting event and championship.

Look at it from a financial perspective.

The Greeks are broke, although a few shipbuilders aren’t short of a bob.

For years, while they retire early and sit about drinking and complaining, the Greeks have blissfully relied on everyone else to bail them out.

They won’t, and can’t, repay the cash mountains which other countries have poured into propping up their selfish little islands.

Everyone who pays wants to bring this wanton profligacy to an end.

Here’s how it would be done.

Let’s use the 105 active member countries and 32 honorary members of the Olympic games movement as an example.

Countries clamour for the “right” to host Olympic games at crippling cost to their taxpaying citizens.

Instead of countries putting themselves into massive debt – and conning taxpayers into thinking all the new building and “infrastructure” stuff will be of some national benefit – money and effort would be put into building and maintaining one global events centre, known as Greece.

They already made a start with the 2004 Athens Olympics.

For example, if the 50 wealthiest members of the Olympic “family” chipped in $500 million each – and that’s small change by Olympic standards – there would be a development pool of $25 billion.

The rest could give what they could prudently afford – say another $10 billion.

That’s a good start to a building fund.

But wait there’s more – much more.

Broadcasting rights – beaming coverage to 220 countries - are the biggest revenue producer for the Olympics and estimated to reap at least $US3.9 billion from the London games.

Similar huge broadcasting revenue applies to other “world” sports events.

Sponsorship is close behind.

Domestic sponsorship alone around the 2008 Beijing games brought in $US1.2 billion.

Because very few spectators go through the hassle of actually going to any games, ticket sales and product licensing between them account for only 8% of income.

Stadiums would not need to be giant white elephants but better tailored to realism than being bigger than Ben Hur.

Add Olympic revenue to the Commonwealth games (it doesn’t matter Greece is not in the Commonwealth, this is an exercise in financial expediency) and the myriad of “world cup” tournaments and sailing regattas and the revenue figures take off.

Stadiums and accommodation would be built all over Greece.

Airports and harbours would be upgraded. Hotels and new housing would shoot up everywhere.

And this is only the beginning.

Countries struggling to keep their own balance of payments in order, would be saved the long-time high cost of “competing” with even bigger and more expensive games facilities than the last time (think Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup here).

Broadcasters would love it because they would save money by setting up permanently in one place, ensuring better coverage while still charging more.

Better coverage means happier fans.

Among the many upsides of all this would be to return the Greeks to full employment.

Not only would they be involved in building (the heavy lifting would still need to be done by nations who know how) but armies of Greek men and women would be employed in a huge new taverna and hospitality industry.

Greece is well placed geographically, its weather is good all year round and it even gets a bit of snow for the winter sports bunnies.

Facilities not in use for actual global events would be used for training and wall-to-wall "sports academies."

After an initial injection of bulk funds, the revenue from broadcasting rights and sponsorships alone would quickly pay dividends – before selling one more glass of ouzo.

Imagine the opportunities for private investment in Global Greek Corp...

As a global sports centre Greece would soon become self-supporting, repay that nasty Euro debt and keep taxpaying generations gainfully employed.

It would also be a damned sight easier, and cheaper, on the rest of us.

Everyway Greece comes out on top.

One proviso: Put the Germans in charge and it will work.

It’s just a matter of thinking outside the square.

They put men on the moon.

Fixing Greece can’t be that hard.

NBR Staff
Sat, 23 Jun 2012
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Why the Greek Solution is simple