The Euro zone is a 17 story building in an upscale international neighborhood, whose elevator labels the floors from AAA to D. Germans and French were among the first tenants who abandoned their provincial ways for a shot at living in upscale downtown and settled into the AAA floors. They were not always AAA grade tenants those two. Moving into the Euro-zone building on the corner of Finance and Economy boulevard is what changed their fate. They barged in all loud and stinky with their wurst, fromage, soiled armpits and barbaric ways and eventually learned to be discrete and smooth. As expected they sometimes have disputes and on occasion they get together for wine and fromage à pâte molle.
While life was good up on top of the Euro zone highrise the Franco-Germans realized early on that they must get some more tenants to occupy the lower D floors or else the building will look and feel spooky: the international neighbors you see, had been complaining that the building perimeter has been falling apart creating hazards for all. As a result, Portuguese, Spaniards, Irish, Greeks, Italians moved in into the lower floors with the Greeks settling into the D floors eventually. The lower grade tenants brought new attitudes and life styles. They liked the outdoors, threw grill parties, made out on the lawn and shouted life and culture into a previously austere neighborhood. First tensions between old and new tenants centered around grilling and partying outdoors after hours: the AAA tenants had to get up early and go to work…
The building as is easy to see has a potential for both positive and negative “externalities”. The diversity of its inhabitants turned it into a conflict generator. It started falling apart and losing its original glamor, partly because for most of the inhabitants the building has never been a primary residence. None of them committed to it as a result. For example since the D floors can run out faster than the AAA floors in case of a fire alarm it is the Germans who want stricter security regulations and not the Greeks. To make matters worse the Greeks have been yelling that the building is rotten because the sewage is clogged and it stinks when they flush their toilet. The Germans have been saying it is clogged under the Greek floor so it is their fault and they should fix it by consuming less and hence flushing less. The Greeks maintain it could be anybody’s shit that clogged the sewage but the Germans don’t budge, they are high up and are not affected by it and so they will not pay for it. Deadlock!
But the building has its funny ways with externalities. While the Greeks have been suffering from the stench and the Germans have been looking down on them, the clogged sewage piled up all the way to the AAA floors. Now the Germans are complaining that it stinks: the shit is right in their face and the stench glues its vile particles into their sensitive breathing pipes. Some of the German family want the Greeks out: “they clogged the sewage” they say. Others say they did so but kicking them out will not fix the problem. Another faction of the German family says the family itself should move out but those who earn the money for the family say that the world has changed and that the Eurozone building on the corner of Finance and Economy boulevard is what sustains the family and so moving out would mean going back to their provincial ways, to blutwurst and zwiebelkuchen, they were relieved to have left behind. Some voices say if the Greeks move out then more tenants will follow and they will be back to where they started from. Finding new tenants will be impossible unless the sewage is fixed and the Franco-Germans committed to the building. Others say (like the Greeks do) that since all shit goes through the same sewage it could be anybody’s shit clogging it and so they should fix it together.
In the meantime the rest of the upscale downtown, the likes of Americans, British, Chinese etc, start thinking, wishing or fearing that perhaps these barbaric, breath stinking, butt scratching, fromage chewing, wurst worshiping, prosciutto bearing, chorizo stench-ed, ouzo hallucinating bunch will dissolve soon and go back to the province they came from. Some fear that this will destroy the property values on the corner of Finance and Economy Boulevard, others hope to tear the Eurozone building down and build a Big Ben replica.
Dear reader I wish you a sunny sunday: there is always more to it than meets the eye.
PS: Αγαπητε αναγνωστη που δεν διαβαζεις ισως αλλογλωσσα κειμενα. Το ηθικο διδαγμα αυτου του κατα Αισωπον αναλυτικου χαϊκού ειναι οτι οταν βουλωσει η αποχετευση στο ισογειο ειναι απλως ζητημα χρονου το ποτε τα σκατα θα φτασουνε στο ρετιρε 🙂