Can it be done? It may seem silly to try to put a whole continent through a branding exercise. But the beleaguered Greeks are already having this conversation. And I think there's an opportunity for Greece to recast itself as a place where people who can't find opportunity are leaving (as they are in Spain!) and people who can find opportunity should come.
My rebranding scheme for Greece won't work unless at least some of us who don't live there already decide to make a go of it. In fact, the possible pool of immigrants to Greece has to be dramatically narrowed for cultural and political reasons. What Greece needs is more talented Westerners -- their creativity, their money, and, frankly, their lack of any of the nationalist feelings that have caused so many Greeks to flatter themselves with a profligate, bloated, and corrupt government.
Would any of us actually consider moving to Greece? Under what circumstances? Do we think a critical mass of expats could actually change the political culture from the ground up?
Some of these same issues apply to Europe as a whole. I don't know the numbers on the productivity and mobility of immigrants to Europe, but it seems important to ask what Europe has to do to attract robust numbers of economically dynamic immigrants who also won't cause the social fabric to strain to the breaking point. Because right now Europe seems to need all the help it can get. Rebranding may not be a perfect way to grapple with the problem, but it's way better than nothing.