Monday, April 18, 2011

Greece Accidentally Receives Loan Intended for Musical

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- On May 18, 2010, the economically embattled country of Greece received 14.5 billion euros ($17.9 billion USD) in aid. Since that time, finance ministers across Western Europe, whose nations were responsible for taking steps to alleviate the distressed assets of several struggling countries, have watched the debt burden swell with no signs of abating. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Wednesday that Europe should prepare to restructure Greece’s debt if the forthcoming analysis from the European Central Bank and European Commission deems it unsustainable. However, Greek officials on Monday again denied that debt rescheduling was imminent, despite the insistence from financial markets that the country will need to renegotiate the terms of its public debt.

In a surprising announcement this morning, Bank of Greece Governor George Provopoulos said that his country had received another loan from what Greek bankers presumed to be the European Union.

”Close to 300 million euros were transferred to Greece a short while ago, through an anonymous donor that we believe to be the ECB [European Central Bank],” explained Provopoulos. “This additional influx of cash should quell any fears investors might be struggling with. If our economy weren’t capable of growth, we would not have received this money.”

The loan was seen as a godsend by officials across the country. Unfortunately, their excitement was premature. Just hours ago, the mysterious benefactor came forward to demand the money back.

Bernard Jorsz of the American Theater Company broke the news during a press conference held in New York:

“We completely understand how embarrassing this is to the good people of Greece, but due to several bookkeeping discrepancies and a clerical error in shipping, money we had planned to invest in a European production of the Broadway musical ‘Grease’ was inadvertently diverted to the ailing nation. Apologetic as we are, we need that money back. Our ticket holders, our board of directors, our producers, and our backers simply won’t look the other way on this.”

Jorsz spoke briefly with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to discuss a compromise, where the money would be used to fund the musical’s production in Greece instead of Western Europe. The Greek government, however, could not guarantee the same resource commitments or audience draw that producers projected for Europe. In the end, the potential deal fell through.

“We’re not giving up on them,” Jorsz concluded. “I think we can talk the producers of ‘Jersey Boys’ into a similar deal. It’s an awful musical here, but Greek audiences will probably love it.”

“Grease” the musical, set in 1959 at fictional Rydell High School, follows ten working-class kids as they master the arts of love, cars, heavy petting, and smoking. At the time it closed in 1980, the show’s 3,388-performance run was the longest yet in Broadway history.

Greece the country traces its roots to the civilization of ancient Greece, generally considered to be the cradle of Western civilization. It is widely esteemed as the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature, political science, and thousands of sodomy jokes. By the close of 2009, Greece was one of the most bankrupt countries in the EU.

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