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Boxing Clever?

Optimize Blog - March 4, 2010 - 0 comments

“Thinking outside the box” is a somewhat over-used term in our opinion but, nevertheless, the ability to think unconventionally or laterally is a very real skill and it can bring about step change through innovation. It can also allow the thinker to gain an advantage over the competition.  True lateral thinkers, though, are not abundant and many self acclaimed ‘innovators’ simply polish the same old way of doing things or tinker around the edges of a problem or process.
However, today we hear of some fantastic lateral thinking – way out of the box – although like many such ideas the implications can be unpalatable.  The left field proposal comes in relation to Greece’s serious financial predicament where the country is on the verge of bankruptcy and struggling to pay its enormous debt.  
Unlike Dubai, Greece does not have a ‘patriarchal’ next door neighbour willing to bail it out with billions of dollars and, therefore, the Greek Prime Minister Mr. Papandreou, as well as implementing an ‘austerity’ program, is seeking support from other countries.  So two senior politicians in Germany, a Herr Schlarmann and Herr Schaeffler have been lobbying the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to refrain from offering Greece any help but rather to provide a rather outlandish alternative.
These two senior German politicians are recommending that Greece sell some of its uninhabited islands to raise cash to help it through its problems…..  Likening the country to personal bankruptcy victims these Germans feel that Greece should sell everything of value that they have to pay their creditors.  Now, they don’t go on to say who the likely buyers might be but even in recessionary times some of these beautiful properties would no doubt attract a handsome sum.  So is this pure folly, a political barb at the mis-management of the Greek finances or a serious option for the Greek politicians to consider?
Over 80% of Germans according to a recent poll think that they should not help out the Greeks but there is also the impact that the bankruptcy of Greece would have on the Euro and therefore the other Eurozone members may have limited choice in the matter.
So, with over 5,000 uninhabited islands in the Aegean Sea, guaranteed warm weather and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, if you are in the market for this type of real estate there might just be something on the market soon.  But maybe not.  Despite this type of creative thinking at least sparking a debate, it does demonstrate that even politicians sometimes can think radically and not just regurgitate the same old policies and principles.  
However, we’re not convinced that Greece is willing to consider such a radical approach just yet and, after all, how far could you take such an approach to a countries’ insolvency… Perhaps a sale and lease back option on the Acropolis?

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