Paddy Power, the Irish bookmakers, have a flair for offering bets that make a headline. Here is a good one. They have set odds for which country will be the first to leave the euro. The favourite obviously is Greece – at a rather ungenerous 11/8. But I was most attracted to the sixth favourite, which is Germany offered at 12-1. Given the current state of German public opinion, I think that might be quite a good bet – although it is not clear what the time-frame offered is. Imagine if Germany does indeed become the first country to leave the euro – but in 2025 – and I have lost the betting slip.
Consulting Paddy Power’s odds on who is going to win the World Cup, I see they have Germany at 14-1. In other words, they think that Germany is more likely to abandon its currency and unleash political turmoil in Europe than to win a soccer tournament that it has already captured three times.