Monday, June 18, 2012

Greece, politics, board games, live long and prosper!

Samaras - live long and prosper!
(photo: Reuters)
I was writing a few weeks ago about the   political situation in Greece and how it  affects the world of board games.  Yesterday, a new round of elections took  place and, although I am trying to stay as  far as possible from politics, I feel  compelled to share my thoughts on this.

The whole Europe and most of the world have focused on Greece for the past few weeks, not due to their impressive come-back in the Euro 2012, but due to the importance of these elections for the future of the Euro-zone and EU itself. The fear was that, should the radicals win, Greece would no longer respect the bailout agreement with the EU and IMF and would be forced to default on their debts, thus causing an extended crisis throughout all the countries which share the Euro as their currency and the other countries surrounding the Euro-zone.

But that's just some political talk, right? How would we - the common people - feel this directly? Well, just the perspective of the Greek default cause the Euro to lose some 3% against the US dollar and other relevant currencies, the oil price dropped with more than $10. For all those who are doing business across borders and currencies, this lack of stability is causing stress and even panic. For those who have saving or credits in various currencies, this prolonged instability is a source of nightmares and for the rest it is simply a nuisance ready to become a serious issue as soon as the price are going bazinga once again.

Fortunately, the (almost final) results of the Greek elections show that ND, a moderate right hand party won and will form a government which will work with the EU and IMF to get the country out of the brown situation and respect all the international agreements that Greece had signed. The political leaders in Europe are having less cold sweats, they can now focus once again on hiding their own dirt under the carpet.

For the board games world there isn't much of a change. But there is some change. The quotation I got this morning for international shipping was 7% lower that the one I got last week, in spite of the slight increase in the oil price (everyone in the shipping business blames crazy prices on the oil and gas market), so there is hope for better.

Overall, I guess the outcome of the last political weekend looks positive and most people have less to worry about. I am just wondering what will happen when the reality hits and one of the countries which are always under the magnifying lens of the EU, IMF and the rating agencies will not make the "right" choice. 

Live long and prosper!

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