Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Alexis Tsipras and the price of board games

I don't know about you, but I try to follow the world politics. Not because I like it, but because it influences my day-to-day life in ways sometimes very hard to predict. I usually try to avoid discussing it, but today I found a very interesting connection between Alexis Tsipras, the leader of a Greek party and the price of board games in Europe.

A few weeks ago, there were general elections in Greece. The purpose was to have a new stable government to guide Greece out of its debt crisis and implement the agreement with the IMF and European Union. The outcome was quite unexpected, the previously small party SYRIZA won the second place in the elections with more than 16%. By now, you must be wondering how will I get to board games... just bear with me a little longer.

After the election, since no party had majority in Greece, the leaders of the most representative parties received a mandate from the president to form a coalition government. The first attempt was an epic failure. So were the second one and the third one. Now, Greece went down the path of a new round of elections. The main 'contributor' to this situation is Alexis Tsipras, the leader of SYRIZA, a radical left-wing party, previously not influential at all, who believes that a new round of elections will bring his party even more votes, making him the great winner. So, Mr Tsipras refused the talks to form a coalition with either right-hand or left-hand parties. Yesterday, the final attempt to form a government failed and a now round of elections is certain.

This whole series of events threw the stock markets off track and created panic among politicians, investors, or bankers, causing the euro to fall against the US dollar. Still no connection with board games? A bit more patience, please.

Maybe the Europeans are not aware of this, but outside Europe, pretty much everywhere else in the world, the currency for international business is the US dollar. Now, most of you know or assume that board games, like any other product that requires a manufacture process without state of the art technology, are produces mainly in China. Of course, there are a few European companies in this industry, but the largest quantities are made in China. The prices for manufacturing and shipping these games are all denominated in dollars. With the new wave of panic and the euro dropping almost every day with half a cent against the dollar, the overall price in euro to manufacture and transport a game from China to Europe has increased with 3.5% only in the past 5 days, not counting today. So, if the trend continues, it is possible that the retail price for the board games produces after these events in Greece will increase on the European market.

I am not passionate about politics and I am not trying to blame Mr Tsipras for all that is happening in the world today, I just wanted to point out that one man's will has the potential to affect all our lives in ways that we can expect the least.

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