I accept that we hacked branches off about 30 olive trees that stood by the side of the track up to the Greek Hovel in order to allow the builders to get their bigger trucks up. We also appear to have damaged the dry stone walls in places. Its a given. My bonkers neighbour ( he lives two miles away but is my closest neighbour) Charon has not asked for any compensation. He is a good guy. But then there are two cousins who want more. I met with them in my hotel this week with George the Architect there to translate.
Old men they appeared friendly. The reasonable cousin has seen about 20 trees damaged but he knows that the branches will have regrown by next year's harvest and his main concern are the walls which we have promised to restore when the hovel is rebuilt. He said you compensate me what you think fair.
The unreasonable cousin has seen just eight trees damaged. He wants 300 Euro. I pointed out that as a result of the storm the economic loss this year was exactly zero and both men agreed. We also agreed that the branches would be back by next year. So the unreasonable cousin has lost exactly nothing. His harvest this year will be so bad that he probably won't even bother doing it at all. So having accepted that his economic loss was exactly nil I was hoping for some movement. After all you can buy land with five trees on it for 300 Euro!
George confirmed that he still wanted 300 Euro.
I paid for our drinks and said George would let them know my decision tomorrow as it was not good to discuss money in this way. My decision is to give them 400 Euro. If the unreasonable cousin still demands 300 he will clearly be stealing from his reasonable relative and that is not the done thing. My offer is more than fair and - as they squabble among themselves to divide the spoils they will know that.