A Phoenician travelling merchant, Ekonomikrisis is a pioneering trader who employs the slyest rules of liberalism in the Roman Empire and remodels them to his advantage. Demonstrating great expertise in cutting-edge communication techniques, he rechristens the rowers on his commercial galley «partners», united under the aegis of a «partnership contract» drawn up in good form, in which he doesn't neglect to reserve the posts of Chairman and Managing Director for himself.
The terms may have changed, but this new breed of MD with unquestioned managerial authority ill disguises the fact that he's exploiting his men in the form of good, old-fashioned slavery: it has to be said, Ekonomikrisis created a formidable system in which everyone ends up working for his profit alone!
Even worse, if you aren't one of his «partners» and you don't row for him, watch out: Ekonomikrisis is no doubt already dreaming of selling you as a slave, just to get something out of your journey on his boat! We note that before the strike of the «volunteer» slaves in Asterix and Cleopatra and the union struggles of The Mansion of the Gods, the authors of Asterix developed a decidedly singular vision of the world of work! Later, in Asterix and the Black Gold, Albert Uderzo completes the portrait of this eccentric merchant with an innovative decision: Ekonomikrisis calls his rowers «holiday-makers» on a package tour, of which he is of course the tour operator! He's not called Ekonomikrisis for nothing!