Greece Asks for Yogurt Bailout
ATHENS – Facing increasing pressure by its European and American creditors, the Greek government has been struggling to produce a budget surplus so that they can begin to pay back their loans. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has proposed an alternate way to pay back the nation’s creditors.
“I propose that the Greek nation increase its production of yogurt,” Papandreou said in a speech before the Parliament. “It is literally the only thing we have left of any value.”
Following a collapse of their credit rating and fears that the nation would default on its debt in mid-2010, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund had given Greece a ‘bailout’ loan, initially $61 billion. In recent weeks there has been an increased fear that the Greeks would not be able to pass austerity measures, which would further imperil their ability to pay back their loans.
The surprising move seems to have placated many of those who had recently taken to the streets to protest the proposed austerity measures. “I think it is a good idea, we Greeks do have very good yogurt,” said one protester, who said he was a doctor with two homes and a small yacht. “The austerity measures would have cut my welfare, and I need that money to live on,” the doctor added.
The Greek government will begin shipments of yogurt to the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund within two months. To satisfy the differing tastes of their German, French, and American creditors, they will produce several different flavors. According to the Greek government’s estimates, this plan should pay off the Greek debt in full by 2111.
By David Epstein