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ECB online game lets you build a bailout

Fiscal management is child’s play, thanks to a new game from the European Central Bank, but it’s not quite so simple…

WHEN THE TERMS of Ireland’s €67.5bn bailout package from the European Union and International Monetary Fund were announced last month, opposition parties were nearly universal in condemning the terms of what they felt was a “bad deal” for Ireland.

They also rounded on Fianna Fáil, who – having been in government for the last 13 years – squandered the Irish boom and made ill Ireland’s once-healthy economic finances.

But, as it transpires, it’s not actually that difficult to run an economy into ruin – in fact, it’s child’s play. Or, at least, that’s the impression given by a game on the European Central Bank’s website, called ‘€conomia’.

The game, intended as an educational resource, tries to teach players about the role of the ECB’s key interest rate, and explain how it is used to try and keep inflation at manageable levels.

Simply adopting a laissez-faire attitude when times are tough doesn’t necessarily keep things going well; there are variables thrown in like a Middle East oil crisis to drive up consumer prices, or stock market rallies and crashes which also skew things a little.

Thankfully, you have a panel of economic advisers on hand to recommend the best course of action at any time – only problem being, some of them don’t seem too interested in their jobs. You also have to make sure you can deal with the press, who are ready to snipe and criticise your monetary policy if you go awry.

The goal is to try and keep the Eurozone economies in positive growth for eight years running – and it’s not easy, but it’s alarmingly addictive. GIve it a go if you have a few minutes spare – you’ll find it’s a little less easy to manage an economy than you think.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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