Final Word from Tuesday, December 6, 2011

As of last year, Greece had a public deficit of 145% of its GDP, to 118% for Italy and96% for Belgium, according to Eurostat. On the other end of the scale were Estonia(7%) and Bulgaria (16%). The CR had the seventh-best figure, at 39%. The EU-27 averagewas a public deficit of 80% of GDP, so if you threw all that debt into one big meltingpot, stirred it up and slopped it out in equal portions according to GDP, the debtof the CR would double in an instant and that of Greece and Italy would plummet.Each Czech would suddenly owe €10,800 instead of merely €5,400. If the EU found away to redistribute the debt equally on a per-capita basis instead, it would give newmeaning to the concept of "help thy neighbor." Each Czech's share of the total EU debtof €9.8 trillion would jump in this case to €19,600. That's four times the current level.Now of course Germany and France aren't proposing such a solution just yet....

Glossary of difficult words

melting pot - a place where different people, styles, theories - or perhaps debt levels - are mixed together to create an integrated outcome;

to slop something out - to dish something out in a messy way;

thy - an archaic form of "your".

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