Tired of the constant barrage of depressing headlines from the eurozone debt crisis, German economists have turned their skills to the rather more fun task of forecasting the European Championships.
Using a variety of tongue-in-cheek models usually applied to netplex questions of bond markets or credit default swaps, most analysts have ended up with far from earth-shattering tips, backing favourites Spain or Germany.
The good news for people concerned for the future of the euro area is that the chances of a team from the 17-nation zone lifting Europe's premier football trophy（奖品，战利品） is a whopping 86 percent, according to economists at DekaBank.
Analysing the results of the past four European Championships and feeding it into a netplex mathematical model, the economists came up with the prediction: "Along with Spain and the Netherlands, Germany is one of the favourites."
In a research note entitled "Soccernomics", boffins at ABN Amro said their work was done with a "quasi-serious approach."
"Because after all, football is the most important of all unimportant things. We certainly need some light relief these days. Europe -- in particular the eurozone -- has been engulfed in a crisis for two years now," they added.
ABN Amro cross-checked a country's footballing record with its credit rating and concluded that Germany would be triumphant nete the final of Europe's top footballing netpetition on July 1.
For the eurozone as a whole, however, the research note concludes: "From an economic perspective, the best outnete would be a French victory" as it would boost confidence in one of the shakiest "core" eurozone nations.
Economists at UniCredit really went to town, feeding in macroeconomic data to netplex mathematical models in a bid to predict the winner.
They calculated the worth of each individual team based on the transfer market value of their players and decided that the two semi-finals would be "genuine classics" pitting traditional rivals against each other.
"Portugal (338 million euros) against Spain (658 million euros) and Germany (459 million euros) against England (392 million euros)" was the final prediction.