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Euro problems are a piece of pizza

An 11-year-old Dutch boy has won a prize for his radical solution to the euro's problems - using a pizza as his inspiration.

Jurre Hermans' entry in the £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize, an international competition to find the "best contingency plan for a break-up of the euro" won special mention from the judging panel.

Jurre, of Breedenbroek in the Netherlands, was 10 at the time he entered. He has been given a 100 euro gift voucher for his efforts but unfortunately failed to make the final short list of five.

The 17-country Eurozone has been placed under considerable strain by the crippling debt problems of some of its members. Some Europe-watchers have warned that any country's exit would destabilise the rest of Europe and plunge the region into a deep recession.

On the other side, "eurosceptics" argue that the currency union's problems are so great that an orderly break-up with countries going back to their old currencies, such as the Greek drachma and Italian lira, is the best answer.

The prize has been sponsored by a family charity trust of Lord Simon Wolfson - a member of the Conservative Party - and is being run by the think tank Policy Exchange. The competition attracted 425 entries. "Sadly, the risk of a country leaving the eurozone has not gone away," Lord Wolfson said at the announcement of the shortlist. "The ideas contained in these entries are an invaluable contribution to tackling this important issue."

Jurre's suggestion was that Greeks be given drachmas in exchange for their euros and that anyone moving euros out of Greece should be penalised.

"All Greek people should bring their euro to the bank," he wrote, including a diagram of his plan. "They put it in an exchange machine .... You see, the Greek guy does not look happy!! The Greek man gets back Greek drachmae from the bank, their old currency. The bank gives all these euros to the Greek government.

"All these euros together form a pancake or a pizza. Now the Greek government can start to pay back all their debts, everyone who has a debt gets a slice of the pizza. You see that all these euros in the pizzas go the companies and banks who have given loans in Greece."

The prize has five shortlisted finalists, who will each receive £10,000 to continue their work ahead of the award on July 5.

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