The Parthenon on the Acropolis as restoration takes place on February 20, 2012 in Athens, Greece.
The Parthenon on the Acropolis as restoration takes place on February 20, 2012 in Athens, Greece. - 

Jeff Horwich: Greece's lenders had planned a visit to the country today, but wouldn't you know it: the brand new finance minister's been fainting and sick to his stomach. One day on the job -- that's all it took to send this man's body into revolt. If Greece weren't so sad, it would be funny. Maybe it's still funny -- at least one guy thinks so.

Manos Kanellos is a stand-up comic in London who goes by "Manos the Greek." Manos, welcome to Marketplace.

Manos Kanellos: Good to speak to you Jeff.

Horwich: So Greece is in the news almost every single day. How does it feel to be a Greek these days?

Kanellos: On the one hand I feel sometimes embarrassed about the actions of my compatriots. On the other hand, I also do enjoy the publicity we are having. I mean, last week we were, for example, the top news on Al Jazeera.

Horwich: Congratulations.

Kanellos: The last time that Greece was on Al Jazeera was in 490 B.C. after the Battle of Marathon.

Horwich: Better late than never.

Kanellos: With the headline, "Greece saves Europe from the Persians, Europe will always owe a huge debt to Greece."

Horwich: You're concerned about your home country, of course -- are there any solutions, as you think about what's going on in Greece, any solutions that you've come up with?

Kanellos: If I was in charge, I think I would open up the economy, because we have -- still -- a closed economy. I would tax heavily the high-income people, the church and the ship owners -- and when I say ship, I mean the boats, not the four-legged animals.

I would explain that the last 30 years has not been normal life, it was a party. The Germans are not happy to pay the bill; they do not understand what a party is. So we need to work hard and pay our taxes.

Horwich: Do the Germans even know how to party like the Greeks?

Kanellos: Exactly, they can't. I don't blame them -- they don't have the weather for it. Why not make holidays compulsory for all Europeans? That is one solution. But I think the more realistic solution for a way out of this crisis -- a good word, by the way, it's Greek -- a good way to finish this drama -- another Greek word -- and avoid catastrophe -- another good word -- is to actually put a copyright on Greek words. If, Mr. American, you want to call your spacecraft to the moon "Apollo," a nice Greek word, please give us some money.

Horwich: Manos Kanellos -- on stage, he goes by Manos the Greek -- great to talk with you, thanks very much.

Kanellos: Thank you, thanks for having me.

Follow Jeff Horwich at @jeffhorwich