Kejserens nye Klæder as seen by Jurre Hermans

Wednesday, 4 April, 2012

When the somewhat nerdy-looking Baron Wolfson of Aspley Guise decided to award a prize worth £250,000 (€300,500) to the person “who is able to articulate how best to manage the orderly exit of one of more member states from the European Monetary Union”, the usual tut-tutting about “English euroscepticism” and “titled Tories” did the rounds. And, anyway, what would the CEO of a British clothing retailer called Next know about the magnificent European political vision that the fantastic common currency represents? If Lord Wolfson wishes to waste his money, that’s fine by us said the bureaucrats in Brussels. Besides, only the converted will pay attention, they added.

And then came the magical moment — the marketing coup that most Mad Men spend their lives dreaming about, the thing that money cannot buy: the priceless oxygen of publicity. It happened yesterday when the shortlist for the Wolfson Economics Prize was announced. Along with naming the five worthies, the judging panel added, as a footnote, that an 11-year-old Dutch boy “has received a special mention from the Wolfson Economics Prize for his application to the prize… He will receive an €100 gift voucher for his efforts.”

Jurre Hermans Suddenly, Jurre Hermans from Breedenbroek in Gelderland Achterhoek was here, there and everywhere. With that €100 gift voucher, Lord Wolfson had bought his prize unimagined global attention. With his bold declaration that “Greece should leave the Euro“, young Jurre dismissed all the ECB/ESF/ESM machinations that are threatening to enslave an entire generation across Europe. He then proceeded to the specifics:

“The Greek people do not want to exchange their Euro’s for Drachmes because they know that this Drachme will lose its value dramatically. They try to keep or hide their Euro’s. They know that if they wait a while they will get more Drachmes. So if a Greek man tries to keep his Euros(or bring his euros to a bank in an other country like Holland or Germany) and it is discovered, he gets a penalty just as high or double as the whole amount in euros he tried to hide!!!”

Unlike the fabricated “solutions” offered after every EU summit, Jurre is proposing something that is logical and moral. For this he is to be congratulated, and Lord Wolfson is to be praised for recognizing such clear thinking. The gnomes of Brussels will be less pleased, however. Their grand plan is now being exposed to the kind of inspection that Hans Christian Andersen immortalized in Kejserens nye Klæder (The Emperor’s New Clothes), a tale by about two weavers who promise to make an outfit for the ruler that is invisible to those unfit or incompetent for their court positions. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new suit, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” And so it is today. And Jurre Hermans has uttered the words that adults cannot say.

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