GREEK CRISIS: German Eurospin goes into overdrive.

Last week I predicted lots of Merkelian news management to suggest that Germany is going to be tough on Greece und effryvon is obeyink ordass. It’s begun in style this morning.

Ekathimerini  ‘American observers claim to be stunned by the manner in which hardline German officials are dealing with their southern European partner..[but]…Officials argue that the markets have already priced in the scenario…US officials are shocked at the stubborness of their German counterparts. They are particularly worried that the hardline view is shared by high-ranking officials at the European Central Bank.’

 

Daily Telegraph  ‘The deputy head of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative parliamentary bloc, Michael Fuchs, told business daily Handelsblatt that Berlin was ready to use its veto if it is unhappy with findings from the Greece creditors’ Troika’….”You can quote me: even if the glass is half-full, that is not enough for a new aid package,” he said in an interview to appear in the paper’s Monday issue. “Germany cannot and will not agree to that.”‘

Wall Street Journal  ‘The European Central Bank will buy short-term government bonds, if necessary, to prevent their yields spiralling out of control – but only after recipients have formally requested aid from the EU bailout funds and agreed to be bound by certain conditions….This is very much a victory for the German model of running Europe. Some other countries were arguing for effectively unilateral intervention to get them off the hook but the ECB has signed up to the German diet of strict conditionality…’

In a sentence, “We don’t care if the Greeks leave, the ECB is on our side, and the others don’t matter.” It’s all bollocks from start to finish, but as this site’s aim is to deconstruct any and all important bollocks, I can do little better than to refer you – if you missed it –  to The Slog’s Saturday Essay:

Why Germany will leave the eurozone whether it wants to or not.

 

 

 

 

87 thoughts on “GREEK CRISIS: German Eurospin goes into overdrive.

  1. If there is a single theme developing for the 21st century it is this: Laws don’t matter. And the corollary to the theme is: Neither do commoners.

    John, your logical platform of “Why Germany will leave the Eurozone” is IMHO altogether sound, but the problem is that it rests heavily on the pillars of legality and public opinion. Both unfortunately have given way to plutocrats repeatedly in the past decade, and will do so again when push comes to shove.

    Regrettably, a more defensible thesis might be, “Why sovereignty and constitutional democracy are no longer relevant concepts”. Or “Why the elite will continue to win until there is blood in the streets (and quite likely thereafter)”.

    My two cents.

    • Your two cents is worth a lot more than any body else’s endless waffle. More insight in those three paras than I;ve seen for a long time.

    • “Regrettably, a more defensible thesis might be, “Why sovereignty and constitutional democracy are no longer relevant concepts”. Or “Why the elite will continue to win until there is blood in the streets (and quite likely thereafter)”.

      Yes, based on what we have already seen this is a compelling arguement but is actually probably also the preferred option. I say that because the only alternative would seem to be mission creep by TPTB and greater and more cunning control of the massess (me and thee) by stealth, until we are suitably servile.

      I keep saying it, ‘they’ ain’t stupid, they know how some of us feel and they are already planning for it. It is easier for them to effect more control of the populace than to sort out the problems, surely? My evidence for this is history and what we know of human nature.

      • We are entering (or more like entered in 2007/08) the “long Descent’ the crisis is engineered the coming crunch in resources in particular oil will destroy everything we know and hold dear, the ‘elite’ are securing the resources for themselves (by the age old economic debt trap/bankers ramp) as soon as they are in a comfortable position the plug will be pulled and we will descend into chaos.

        Its not for nothing that the sales of private islands in remote parts of the world have gone through the roof in the past two years.

  2. You know the old saying ? ” for the Germans to be happy everybody else has to be miserable ” if we accept this basic principal the union is on , otherwise the Germans will be happy somewhere else .

  3. Germany leaving the Euro will be a form of debt forgiveness because the currency will tank. I have some sympathy with Merkel’s position (in that debts must be paid back) but whichever way she jumps now, it’s going to cost the German taxpayer dearly.

  4. This is completely off topic but interesting none the less, it is not an IMF policy but a working document.

    This is the abstract :-

    At the height of the Great Depression a number of leading U.S. economists advanced a proposal for monetary reform that became known as the Chicago Plan. It envisaged the separation of the monetary and credit functions of the banking system, by requiring 100% reserve backing for deposits. Irving Fisher (1936) claimed the following advantages for this plan:
    (1) Much better control of a major source of business cycle fluctuations, sudden increases and contractions of bank credit and of the supply of bank-created money.
    (2) Complete elimination of bank runs. (3) Dramatic reduction of the (net) public debt.
    (4) Dramatic reduction of private debt, as money creation no longer requires simultaneous debt creation.
    We study these claims by embedding a comprehensive and carefully calibrated model of the banking system in a DSGE model of the U.S. economy. We find support for all four of Fisher’s claims. Furthermore, output gains approach 10 percent, and steady state inflation can drop to zero without posing problems for the conduct of monetary policy.

    Full article :-

    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2012/wp12202.pdf

    • Ah yes but then where would the control be (going back earlier in history this was cited by Benjamin Franklin as a major cause of the revolutionary war namely the banning of the debt free money call colonial scrip which induced a massive depression in the former colonies. It was not for nothing that both Lincoln and Kennedy were assassinated precisely because they had or wanted to issue debt free money in the US).

  5. It does look as though Germany leaving the Euro is now the best solution from the German POV. I think the correct term is ‘Take the money and run’. The Euro has been a big success for Germany. Booming exports and profits. It seems silly to have to give all the profits back to the countries they took them from. You might as well expect the banksters to give back the money they stole.
    If Germany returns to the Deutschmark, they keep their profits and the Euro devalues. The strong Deutschmark will be able to buy up the rest of Europe.
    Insolvent countries always used to devalue in the past, but I don’t know how that works when almost every country is insolvent.
    Competitive devaluations anyone?

    • ” I think the correct term is ‘Take the money and run’. The Euro has been a big success for Germany. Booming exports and profits. It seems silly to have to give all the profits back to the countries they took them from.”

      exactly…

    • We already know that the whole EZ thing will only work if there is complete political and financial union. The only problem is how to get there from here while not fomenting enormous protest just about everywhere, but especially in Germany. No wonder Merkel needed a holiday!

    • Well yes but trouble is the ECB is stuffed to the doors with guff Sovereign debt, so it is basically insolvent. And then we have the tricky problem of the Target T2 balances which the Germans are on the hook for. All them shiny new BMWs and Mercs which the Greeks aint paid for ! Oh to be a bailiff.

  6. Would’nt it be funny if behind the scenes Merkel is ‘leaning’ on the Karlruhe Court to vote in favour of a German referendum?…It could really suit her purpose now…either she gets a mandate for ‘More Europe’ for her and Woolfie to have their wicked way with all the ‘transgressors’ and take the Fiskal helm of Europe…..or she gets a ‘No more bale outs’ vote from German Taxpayers, and has “no choice but walk away into Marks, and wash her hands of the whole lot of it !”….in the hopes of appearing as a ‘Safe pair of hands that does the peoples bidding’ come elections next year.

    Either way, notta lotta money would seem to be about to leave German Coffers before 12th Sept…….Anyone fancy a small wager.? Catalonia or a lot of small/medium Spanish Banks not making it to Sept 12th…… ? Particularly if there is a rising market and media hype that the Cavalry might not coming to the aid of Southern Europe at all….. That Mid Sept date for Greece seems to keep cropping up too ! Hmmmm !

  7. Pingback: John Ward – Greek Crisis : German Eurospin Goes Into Overdrive – 13 August 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  8. For those of us who happen to know what autism is, it’s interesting to compare some of its characteristics with the image portayed of the German society. Calling them ”autistic by choice” would not be unfair if only a little harsh. What troubles me though is what kind of tantrums we will get if things don’t go their way and it looks that crisis is only starting to hit them. It must be difficult for a hard working and highly productive nation to fathom why they have to let go some of its prosperity since they have done everything by the book. Things can get really ugly.

    • Most of those skeletons have American sub-prime and other assorted American derivatives,which German pension funds tried to cash out,as their promise,if fraud was shown,written all over them.

  9. Why is everyone still entertaining the thought that Germany even CAN save the Euro? Their true debt to GDP is up around 300%, the worlds economy is in a coma, their output has slowed down… who is left to loan them enough money to bail out all of Europe… wait, lets say Greece does leave… does anyone realistically think they can or will come up with the big money to fix Italy, Spain, and whoever is next?

      • The re-elect Obama campaign in the US has warehouses packed to the brim with barrels of “Hopium”, a substance that caused a large percentage of the American electorate to believe real change was coming if Obama was elected.

        This “hopium” is 4 years past it’s sell by date but is potent stuff. Maybe it’s being secretly added to the water supply at the ECB HQs and the EU parliament and Commission buildings. How else to explain their collective state of financial delusion?

      • @Supa… ROTFLMAO!!! “hopium”? can I have some… the truth is downer… WHERE’S MY XANAX!!! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! :)

    • Ioannis

      so Greece leaves. What do your government use to pay its workers when it can only borrow on the international market at (say) 30%?

      Whatever oil or other minerals are around, it will still take many years for them to provide any income for you. That is, if they haven’t been sold for peanuts to the ever generous Americans.

      You are probably right that Germany is stuffed with 300% debt – but they have defaulted before, in 1952.

      • Don’t worry about Greece… mind your own business… what we do with what is ours is our business. 1952?, well since Germany did not pay it’s bills to Greece and had the Marshall Plans assistance to rebuild their economy it was obvious the combination of defaults, bailouts, and fraud would be successful… sound familiar.

      • Yeah, Marshall Plan… too bad Germany stopped payment on the loans and reparations to Greece that were supposed to work in tandem with the M.P. and form the back bone of Greece’s post war economic recovery…

        Also… ” Mr Ritschl writes that Germany’s foreign debt before the war amounted to 300% of GDP. This I find surprising as during the London Debt Agreement of 1953 the negotiations referred to 30 billion deutschmarks, or 22% of the German GDP of that year (Ch. Buchheim, “Das Londoner Schuldenabkommen”, L. Herbst, Ed., Westdeutschland 1945-1955. Unterwerfung, Kontrolle, Integration, Munich 1986, p. 219-229). This figure includes the pre-war debts, the clearing debts, the post-war debts and Marshall aid. Perhaps the figure was not complete, perhaps the dismantling of Germany’s industry should be added, which went on until 1951, and perhaps the forfeiture of reparations. Relative to GDP, the post-war Marshall aid was, however, only a tiny fraction of the relief thus far given to Greece.”

        http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2012/06/economic-history-1

      • My point is…

        “…since Germany did not pay it’s bills to Greece and had the Marshall Plans assistance to rebuild their economy it was obvious the combination of defaults, bailouts, and fraud would be successful… sound familiar.”

        I never said Greece did not receive M.P. assistance.

      • Ioannis

        Don’t worry about Greece… mind your own business

        Well, as long as you can balance your deficit of course! You haven’t managed that in the last … how many years is it? So please tell me whose business is it to bail your government out (again)?

      • Gemz… Greek debt per gdp currently at 132%… German debt per gdp closing in on 300%… seems Germany has the bigger problem… whose job is it to bail out Greece? Germany… never having paid back their debts… instead of the 550 billion to 1 trillion they owe… we will just keep “borrowing” money to stay afloat until the worlds economy heals and the oil starts to flow. I would say your retort was a nice try but it’s so incredibly weak… I can’t fake it.

  10. There you are, sitting so comfortably in your concrete self-righteous mindset, waving the anti-hun banner in every comment without one second realizing how narrow your sight really is.

    Ask any person on any street in Germany how much he “profited” off the €uro in those last 10 dreadful years of politicians lies and price explosions everywhere and welfare cuts and pension cuts and health insurance cuts whilst rising contributions and taxes and demise and decline of every aspect of society and in private finances and he will look at you in utter disbelief. People did *not* profit off the €uro here, except the really, really rich ones, not many compared to the rest of the 82million who are the losers in this ugly game, exactly the same losers as in Greece and elsewhere.

    May i add a personal word here: My parents are well over 80 years old. They both come from a relatively poor rural background, worked their whole lifes, both starting at 14, built a small house in 1955 and were able to clear their house credits in 1963 (unthinkable of today), were able to buy a small car in 1967 and had their first one-week holiday in italy in 1973, they never allowed themselves any luxury and saved every penny they could and never in their whole life took any bank credit whatsoever except that house building credit, which was given by the state with low interest and otherwise good conditions to support young families and rebuilding after the war until the late sixties. They never, ever bought anything outside their means, never, i repeat, took any loan, never allowed themselves any folly. The standard sentence of my parents is “that is unnecessary”. The mere idea of someone taking on a loan from a bank for anything else but a house or a car or starting a *useful* business is a clear discredit of that persons character, that is still standard thinking in wide areas of german society, especially in the south. It is different in the bigger cities, though, and in the younger generation there, but all in all people are still quite conservative when it comes to work and money.

    When reading here one could believe that for you Germany is a country but packed with heartless devils on a crusade to rule the planet. It would be unearably sweet of you if you at least could sometimes try be less biased and to get over your so-convenient but utterly obsolete Nazi-stereotypes and wartime anti-german propaganda-prejudices when it comes to Germany and its people. Thank you kindly!

    • Oh dear. I’m afraid it is a fact that the main one to benefit from the Euro has been Germany. You have enjoyed an artificially low exchange rate for over a decade. The Euro has been run basically to German music – interest rates were set more in the interests of Germany than the rest of Europe.

      And who has lost out ? All the periphery countries of the Euro zone, particularly poor old Greece. The Euro engineered a credit boom which has now gone ‘pop’, but in doing so it has destroyed 25-30% of the Greek economy. That is a disaster.

      Long ago a UK Minister described EMU as a ‘German racket to take over Europe’. That is effectively what is gradually happening. It wont work and can’t work. So will it all end in gradual disintegration or will it all explode in War ? That is the question.

      • Andy

        Long ago a UK Minister described EMU as a ‘German racket to take over Europe’.

        So what did Britain do about it. Ummm … er … “sorry?” said Mr Cameron/Blair/Brown … what has that to do with Britain? (Apart from being a major trading partner/investment source, etc etc) …

        Answers on the back of a fag packet, please, in the traditional British manner … then the Government can throw it away and ignore their role in Europe again. Wasn’t it something to do with the balance of power in Europe? Now that Germany has the upper hand again, your leader helps France by making Sarkozy look big by allowing him to slap your PM.

      • Usually the one who is paying the bill is deciding the music. Or is that different where you live? And it is no news that the British grind their teeth immediately when they only smell a faint rumour that Germany could ever get in a “better” position in Europe as they themselves. The ugly Hun taking over on the continent? Never! Besides, these are old-fashioned power games of the 20th century, Britannia has lost her vast Empire long since and still has never gotten over it to be degraded to that trivial role of master of ceremonies for the Commonwealth whilst being forced to meet her former enemy eye-to-eye on the european table and being outsmarted several times meanwhile. That seems to gnaw on the british self-image of the ever-so democratic and benevolent masters of the world a great deal. What a pity!

    • Agree the ordinary German has been well and truly shafted by their elite (much as we have been by our own), the winner take all mentatility reigns until it all collapses and then its ‘we’re all in this together’ as they pick our pockets.

      • Gemz,
        The British do not believe is this ‘ever closer union’ bollocks. We opposed the creation of the Euro for perfectly valid and intellectually sound reasons. You busy saying we were wrong ? The Eurosceptics have been proved entirely correct. But now that the chickens are coming home to roost the Germans will have to basically pay the bill. All of this was foretold.

        As I said in a pervious post I would advise Cameron to build a network of countries who can balance the overwhelming arrogance of the Franco-German Axis. You, being anti British and hating all things British, wont appreciate the fact that quite often it is the British who turn around and say ‘no’ while other smaller countries hide behind us. Reality is Britain is the only power in Europe who can stand up to the Germans and the French. What will happen when we leave one could not say.

      • Andy

        quite often it is the British who turn around and say ‘no’ while other smaller countries hide behind us

        Well, that is an interesting statement! Which countries are hiding behind Britannia right now? Mauretania or is it the Maldives? As to “the Franco-German Axis” that is the problem you should be balancing out, not accepting! That is the core and essence of the Euro problems – and one that you are not addressing in the slightest.

      • Gemz,
        There was an interview (I think it was in The Sunday Times) with David Davis. You wont have heard of him but he was a leading Conservative MP and a minister in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office from 1994-1997. And I have also heard him say the same thing in interviews.

        He said one of the things that surprised him in EU meetings was how Ministers from usually smaller countries would sidle up to him and say please oppose this or that. He would say ‘why don’t you oppose these things yourself ?’ and the reply was often that it was only Britain that was powerful enough to oppose the Franco-German Axis who often wanted to ‘steamrollered’ things through.

        There are two things that spring to mind here. The first is that the Franco-German Axis is so strong that smaller countries are frightened of opposing things that the Axis want. Why ? Well the Axis can be spiteful and nasty when crossed. So what is the answer ? Hide behind Britannia’s skirts.

      • Andy

        that the Franco-German Axis is so strong that smaller countries are frightened of opposing things that the Axis want

        Which is precisely the point I was making, and you were avoiding. Okay?

        Britain had equal standing with both France and Germany – and you should have been able to stand up against BOTH of them. It simply isn’t good enough to pander to the peripherals in the way you did and not deal with the essential problem.

        Had you done so, it could be that the Eurozone crisis was solved long before now. That is one major reason for my being so cross with the UK: you not only miss the point, you praise yourselves for doing so.

      • Britain had equal standing with both France and Germany

        On reading that over again, it should read “has” – – – you guys can still do something positive about this mess!!! You would be helping the eurozone – and helping those countries who are sensible enough to invest in your country’s industrial infrastructure.

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  12. Ioannis, there are no pending reparations from WWII of Germany to Greece anymore. These questions were finally settled by the London Debt Agreement in 1953 and later affirmed as part of a bilateral treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Hellenic Kingdom in the early sixties, so that question is off the table. And regarding the Marshal Plan one should be so honest to not us that for spilling anti-german propaganda. Germany received 1413 million $, whereas Greece received 376million $, Great Britain received 3297million$ and France 2296million $. Whilst receiving the Marshal plan aid Germany paid restitutions for WWII far higher than all Marshal Plan aid she received and she has paid back all Marshal Plan aid she received, whereas all other countries did not pay back that US-aid.

    I am sick of it. Really. Maybe Germany should start calculating the financial loss due to carpet bombing of nearly all her cities in WWII and reckon that up with her war reparations to the British and the Americans and ask them to pay their bills, and then we could start accounting with Poland for the loss of one third of the former Reich incl. every last Meissen tea cup in every former east-prussian palace confiscated by Poland and set that into account with what the Germans destroyed in Poland during WWII, what they restituted to Poland after WWII and pay until today and ask the surely not so small rest of the sum to be paid to her, oh that would start heated arguments, oh my!

    Deliberately tear open old wounds for nationalistic propaganda is revisionist behaviour of the worst kind and will only lead to ruin and hate on all sides.

    • You have one small disadvantage: the Nazis. That was the Germans original sin. A 1000 years will not erase that stain from Germany, as a leading Nazi said before he was hanged.

      The whole point of the Euro (which was actually a Nazi idea) was as a means of controlling Germany. The French think they can control Germany by sucking up to her, but eventually Germany will become more assertive, and bored with the Frogs, which is what you are gradually seeing in this crisis.

      • Let’s not start. We would have to talk about the Versailles treaty and the question of war guilt and who helped Hitler into power by financially aiding him and the Nazi party with vast amounts of money and who had which secret interests to keep Germany out of the grand game by every means since 1914 and before and managed to put all the blame on one nation alone again and again for everything what happened whilst all the world around Germany was composed of mere angels without one single evil intend …

        The 1000-year guilt factor is running out rapidly, with every new generation the indoctrination and enforcement of guilt upon the young for things their grand-grandfathers did is getting more complicated, just wtach the endless Nazi-documentations on every german channel 24/7 and ask the young what they think of it and you’ll get the picture. Maybe you go on believing you are right with the stain theory, it will not work here anymore. There is a big difference between the enforcement of everlasting guilt on every new generation and the insight of a nation in collective responsibility for the present and future emerging from a terrible past.

        The €uro was indeed a french idea to control Germany. Seems not to work very well. Maybe the germans are fed up being controlled and ruined and forced to pay and to pay and to pay on and on after nearly 100 years of that most intriguing experience of being the scapegoat paying idiot for everyone.

      • Andy

        Describing the problem in British terms will not help solve the problems in Europe. The Germans do not think like the British, no matter how much the British want them to. That has always been the British problem (and naturally, a German one too for that matter, although many more of them speak decent English than the English speak any foreign language at all).

      • @JHM… yeah… poor little Germany… the world forced them to be genocidal scum… Hitler was a pawn… German people are innocent as lambs… what a whiny load of crap.

      • BT… I agree with you… certainly not every German was a Nazi, nor inclined to be a Nazi… however there is a cultural tendency Germans have to blindly follow what they believe to be “strong” leaders that have punitive tendencies towards people they generally perceive as lesser (in truth, weaker) than them… it is this tendency of don’t ask, don’t tell when it comes to what the German “elites” do that allowed Hitler to assume the power he did… same way Merkel is portraying herself as a “strong” leader and even though the German people do not want more integration with the Euro, or for debt sharing, or even to continue helping Greece… against her own courts, people, and even against the interests of her own country… the vast population will vote her back into office for the “stern, strong” hand over Europe she and Schlobble are portraying… Germans are giving another runaway “leader” carte blanche to enslave them to god knows how many decades of money transfers, and destroying their sovereign status… all in the name of what? Merkel’s ego. The only thing you said I don’t agree with is that the same could happen anywhere… I think Germans are ESPECIALLY culturally predisposed to this kind of collective denial, and irrational fear and willingness to destroy things and peoples they cannot understand or control. IMHO.

    • JHM, you’re dealing with Greeks here. Their rationality isn’t yours. Hence they will continue to rant about German reparations irrespective of what actually happened. Then we get newfound oil and mineral wealth. Soon we’ll be back to the 300 Spartans who saved the West from the Medes and Persians.

      • Jon, i really hope that will come true. At least they would then bath in riches and could adjust their useless anger to the oil companies who spilled their beaches with black desaster and enjoy their lives under the sun in their beautyful country again.

      • Jon

        the riches in your geographic area will take some time to bear fruit – and then it is likely that some foreign industrial concern will have hoovered them up for a pittance, so your government could pay their bills for another month.

        What I truly hope you can do is make sure that these visiting resource extractors pay their fair share of taxes to the Greek government – but their ability to tax their own people is pretty dire, can you imagine their taking it from a US multi-national whose attitude to tax is “Sorry, I don’t understand the question?”

      • Gemz: ” it is likely that some foreign industrial concern will have hoovered them (exploration rights) up for a pittance, so your government could pay their bills for another month.”

        I think you may be right there.

        Also: “but their ability to tax their own people is pretty dire, can you imagine their taking it from a US multi-national whose attitude to tax is “Sorry, I don’t understand the question?”

        Again I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. The only difference is I’d use the term “their own financial and political elite” instead of “their own people”.

      • Super F

        Thankyou.

        As to taxing, Greece needed to sort out the taxation of its rich ship-owners (amongst others). It is their money that has disappeared into the London housing market after all!

        I do agree that a sensible and egalitarian tax system needs to be implemented – – – dare I suggest one like the German one?

        It taxes as fairly as any I have ever paid taxes to? It is certainly far better – and fairer – than the UK tax system. Perhaps it is one reason that the Germans are getting cross with Athens?

        A last question for Ioannis – has he paid his taxes properly for the last ten years? Or was it not the most important thing at the time, perhaps?

    • Oh dear… looks like folks have not been doing their homework… again.

      ” In the London Debt Agreement of February 1953, the reparation claims established seven years earlier and addressed to the West German occupation zones and the later Federal Republic of Germany were suspended until the signing of a peace agreement with Germany. The main reason for this was that the USA and Britain now prioritised the servicing of Germany’s pre-war debt to private creditors over the reparation claims resulting from the war.[5] This meant that, on the level of international law, the Greek government’s hands were tied. In order to continue exerting pressure on the Federal Republic of Germany, the Greek government now linked the issue of reparations to the search for German war criminals and the reparation claims of their victims. Representatives of the Greek government made repeated visits to Bonn; demonstrably, such visits occurred especially frequently in 1956.[6] One year later, the Greek government became more insistent, having arrested a war criminal who had entered Greek territory, the former director of the Administrative and Economic Division of the Wehrmacht Commander for Thessaloniki and the Aegean, Max Merten. Two years later, an Athens military tribunal sentenced Merten to 25 years in prison; he was however extradited to the Federal Republic of Germany several months later.[7] The government of the Federal Republic rewarded Prime Minister Konstantin Karamanlis’ decsision by including Greece in a series of general inter-state agreements by which compensation was provided to those persecuted for racial, religious and ideological reasons in the former occupied territories of the Western hemisphere; this gesture of good will was also intended to bolster West Germany’s claim to sole representation against East German efforts to address the issue of reparations.[8] Following extended negotiations, the Greek government was granted, in March of 1960, a one-off payment of 115 million DM. In a note in the minutes of the agreement, the Greek government stated that Greece’s suspended reparation claims were not rendered void by this agreement.[9]

      When East Germany was annexed, the prospect of a peace agreement gave new urgency to the issue of reparations. But those who hoped this situation would yield a binding agreement were soon disappointed. The agreement ratified by the four Allied powers and the two German states on the eve of German unification doubtless amounted to a peace agreement, but it entirely failed to mention the issue of reparations.[10] Consequently, we must assume, until the opposite is proven (e.g. by the publication of additional clauses hitherto kept secret), that the USA, Britain and France have now tacitly renounced their claims to reparations from West Germany, much as the Soviet Union renounced its claims, in all due form, in August of 1953. This fait accompli did not, however, affect the smaller victors of the Second World War, such as Greece. While the CSCE Act later involved these nations seconding the principles agreed on in the Two Plus Four Agreement, one cannot deduce from this an implicit renunciation of the reparation claims that were established, in accordance with international law, in the 1946 Paris Agreement. By implication, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany cannot legitimately consider these claims to have been renounced. On the contrary, the governments affected remain free to assert their still unsatisfied reparation claims against Germany.”

      http://www.helleniclink.org/?p=595

      Germany paid war reparations to Poland in 1956, and under pressure from the USA and the UK (to placate Tito and keep him from joining the Soviet block) paid war reparations to Yugoslavia in 1971. Greece demanded from Germany payment of the occupation loan in 1945, 1946, 1947, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1987, and in 1995 (after the unification of Germany). Before the unification of Germany, using the London Agreement of February 27, 1953, West Germany avoided to pay its obligations arising from the occupation loan and war reparations to Greece on the argument that no “final peace treaty” had been signed. In 1964, German chancellor Erhard pledged repayment of the loan after the reunification of Germany, which occurred in 1990. As the German magazine “Der Spiegel” wrote on July 23, 1990, with the Two (West and East Germany) Plus Four (USA, former Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and France) Agreement that paved the way for the German unification, the nightmare of demands for war reparations by all those damaged by Germany, which could be raised by signing a “peace treaty”, disappears. This statement by Der Spiegel has no legal basis whatsoever, but it is an acknowledgement of the devices Germany is using to refuse a settlement with Greece (see also guardian.co.uk, June 21, 2011). The same magazine, on June 21, 2011, quotes the economic historian Dr. Albrecht Ritschl, who warns Germany to take a more chaste approach in the euro crisis of 2008-2011, as it could face renewed and justified demands for WWII reparations.

      Indicative of the current value of the German obligations to Greece are the following: using as interest rate the average interest rate of U.S. Treasury Bonds since 1944, which is about 6%, it is estimated that the current value of the occupation loan is $163.8 billion and that of the war reparations is $332 billion. The French economist and consultant to the French government Jacques Delpla stated on July 2, 2011, that Germany owes to Greece 575 billion euros from Second World War obligations(Les Echos, Saturday, July 2, 2011).

      http://www.greece.org/blogs/wwii/?page_id=166

      http://www.scribd.com/doc/63273287/What-Germany-Owes-Greece

      There is absolutely no legal validity to the claim that Germany no longer owes Greece the loans and damages it owes… I dare ANYONE to find any legally binding evidence to the contrary…

    • There is absolutely no legal validity to the claim that Germany no longer owes Greece the loans and damages it owes… I dare ANYONE to find any legally binding evidence to the contrary. Go on… prove what you claim… I can.

      • Not so sure about this Ioannis.
        There is an agreement between West Germany and the Kingdom of Greece signed on 18th March 1960 in which Germany gave 115 million deutsche marks to Greek victims of the Nazis. That agreement was conditional on no further claims would be accepted, so it was a final settlement. There is a case before the International Court of Justice in the Hague disputing a claim by children of residents of Distomo who were killed in June 1944.

        As to the rest of the issue the Peace Treaty that ended the Second World War was signed in September 1990. Greece accepted the terms of that treaty. Seems the matter is now closed.

      • @ Andy please read… Germany obtained forcibly from Greece a loan (occupation loan) of $ 3.5 billion. Hitler himself had recognized the legal (intergovernmental) character of this loan and had given orders to start the process of its repayment. After the end of the war, at the Paris meeting of 1946 Greece was awarded $ 7.1 billion, out of $ 14.0 billion requested, for war reparations.

        Italy repaid to Greece its share of the occupation loan, and both Italy and Bulgaria paid war reparations to Greece. Germany paid war reparations to Poland in 1956, and under pressure from the USA and the UK (to placate Tito and keep him from joining the Soviet block) paid war reparations to Yugoslavia in 1971. Greece demanded from Germany payment of the occupation loan in 1945, 1946, 1947, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1987, and in 1995 (after the unification of Germany). Before the unification of Germany, using the London Agreement of February 27, 1953, West Germany avoided to pay its obligations arising from the occupation loan and war reparations to Greece on the argument that no “final peace treaty” had been signed. In 1964, German chancellor Erhard pledged repayment of the loan after the reunification of Germany, which occurred in 1990. As the German magazine “Der Spiegel” wrote on July 23, 1990, with the Two (West and East Germany) Plus Four (USA, former Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and France) Agreement that paved the way for the German unification, the nightmare of demands for war reparations by all those damaged by Germany, which could be raised by signing a “peace treaty”, disappears. This statement by Der Spiegel has no legal basis whatsoever, but it is an acknowledgement of the devices Germany is using to refuse a settlement with Greece (see also guardian.co.uk, June 21, 2011). The same magazine, on June 21, 2011, quotes the economic historian Dr. Albrecht Ritschl, who warns Germany to take a more chaste approach in the euro crisis of 2008-2011, as it could face renewed and justified demands for WWII reparations.

    • ” In the London Debt Agreement of February 1953, the reparation claims established seven years earlier and addressed to the West German occupation zones and the later Federal Republic of Germany were suspended until the signing of a peace agreement with Germany. The main reason for this was that the USA and Britain now prioritised the servicing of Germany’s pre-war debt to private creditors over the reparation claims resulting from the war.[5] This meant that, on the level of international law, the Greek government’s hands were tied. In order to continue exerting pressure on the Federal Republic of Germany, the Greek government now linked the issue of reparations to the search for German war criminals and the reparation claims of their victims. Representatives of the Greek government made repeated visits to Bonn; demonstrably, such visits occurred especially frequently in 1956.[6] One year later, the Greek government became more insistent, having arrested a war criminal who had entered Greek territory, the former director of the Administrative and Economic Division of the Wehrmacht Commander for Thessaloniki and the Aegean, Max Merten. Two years later, an Athens military tribunal sentenced Merten to 25 years in prison; he was however extradited to the Federal Republic of Germany several months later.[7] The government of the Federal Republic rewarded Prime Minister Konstantin Karamanlis’ decsision by including Greece in a series of general inter-state agreements by which compensation was provided to those persecuted for racial, religious and ideological reasons in the former occupied territories of the Western hemisphere; this gesture of good will was also intended to bolster West Germany’s claim to sole representation against East German efforts to address the issue of reparations.[8] Following extended negotiations, the Greek government was granted, in March of 1960, a one-off payment of 115 million DM. In a note in the minutes of the agreement, the Greek government stated that Greece’s suspended reparation claims were not rendered void by this agreement.[9]

      When East Germany was annexed, the prospect of a peace agreement gave new urgency to the issue of reparations. But those who hoped this situation would yield a binding agreement were soon disappointed. The agreement ratified by the four Allied powers and the two German states on the eve of German unification doubtless amounted to a peace agreement, but it entirely failed to mention the issue of reparations.[10] Consequently, we must assume, until the opposite is proven (e.g. by the publication of additional clauses hitherto kept secret), that the USA, Britain and France have now tacitly renounced their claims to reparations from West Germany, much as the Soviet Union renounced its claims, in all due form, in August of 1953. This fait accompli did not, however, affect the smaller victors of the Second World War, such as Greece. While the CSCE Act later involved these nations seconding the principles agreed on in the Two Plus Four Agreement, one cannot deduce from this an implicit renunciation of the reparation claims that were established, in accordance with international law, in the 1946 Paris Agreement. By implication, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany cannot legitimately consider these claims to have been renounced. On the contrary, the governments affected remain free to assert their still unsatisfied reparation claims against Germany.”

      • On a separate level… all you German Greek haters are just pissed off because we got the better of you again and tripped up your new attempt to take over the world the way we tripped up your old plan to take over the world… that was one coooooold Russian winter to invade into, eh? Why don’t you guys start looking at Merkel and Schlobble for being responsible for the way the world sees you once again… as bullies punishing small, defenseless countries for being different than your vision of perfection… in short, blow me. We were fine tuning all modern reason, logic, science, arts, and philosophy and laying the groundwork for the development of the whole world while you cavemen huddled together and ate raw meat while mating with your family…. give me a break. We were here for thousands of year before you descended from the trees… we will be here for thousand more after you have destroyed yourselves. Hate me ’cause you ain’t me…

    • Wow what a load of racist horseshit… you people really have it in for Greeks huh? buying all the MSM garbage… ok Jon… prove reparations are not still due, lets see someone do some actual fact finding instead of spewing an endless funnel of horsepiss… walk your talk… I challenge all of you hatin’ little dorks… instead of talking crap prove what I say wrong. Please.

      • Ioannis

        just calm down for one moment. I want an answer from you on this point of issue: when are the Greeks going to collect their taxes promptly and properly?

        That cannot be a German insult, or a Dutch slur. It is a question about the present facts as they stand in Greece. It is essential to you if you are inside or outside the EU.

      • Ioannis,

        I believe i can at least try to comprehend and understand your anger and frustration, alass i would really like to know how on earth you come to the conclusion anyone here would *hate* Greece or the greeks. That is an absurd idea. People may be annoyed by that endlessly ongoing greek rightwing babble about the war and the reparations, but that’s mostly it. The boulevard media is repeating populist comments of seventh-bench politicians fuzz about “lazy” greeks from time to time, one side babbles about that Greece should leave the €uro and the other side calculates the cost and says that Greece should stay in the €uro.

        What is bringing people in Germany up against Greece as nothing else does is such cheeky rethoric demanding restitution for a war 70 years past questioning international treaties which were, strangely enough, never questioned as long as Greece was not in such financial trouble. But now, all of a sudden, this becomes an issue, elegantly shrouded by the so so badly hurt national pride of the Greeks due to the evil germans, as if the international (!) banks and the greek political class would never have had any part in what is going on right now. No, it was the mean germans, and only the germans, they alone are guilty, no one else on this planet has any part in the greek misery, and surely not the Greeks themselves.

        Btw., before the tribes who lived in what is today known as Greece climbed down from *their* trees (which was quite some time *after* the Minoans and the Mycenaeans wrote history) some people in what is today Saxony-Anhalt in Germany built the oldest sun observatory on the planet in what is today a little village called Goseck on the fluvial terrace of the Saale river, measuring the heavens and creating the Nebra Sky Disk, about 6000 years B.C., long before one intelligent lasting sound was heard out of the prehistoric woods of Greece. And later on, when all of Greece got occupied by the Romans, the Germans fought them back to the Rhine river destroying three roman legions, the largest military defeat the Romans ever suffered throughout their history. ;-)

      • Germany’s reparations were cancelled in 1990. It may be true that Greece didn’t have too many options on signing up to that but that’s the problem with wanting to play at the same table as the big guys.

      • @Ioannis
        From the BBC News Magazine 10 May 2006:
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4757181.stm

        “The UK is about to pay off the last of its World War II loans from the US. ………………….
        On 31 December, the UK will make a payment of about $83m (£45.5m) to the US and so discharge the last of its loans from World War II from its transatlantic ally. ……………….. In 1945, Britain badly needed money to pay for reconstruction and also to import food for a nation worn down after years of rationing.”

        And some interesting details here about Germany : http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2012/06/economic-history

        “Under the Dawes Plan of 1924, Germany’s currency had been put back on gold but Germany went on a borrowing binge. In a nutshell, Germany was like Greece on steroids”
        “In 1953, the London Agreement on German Debt waterproofed these arrangements for the days when Marshall Aid would be repaid and the European Payments Union would be dissolved. German pre-1933 debt was to be repaid at much reduced interest rates, while settlement of post-1933 debts was postponed to a reparations conference to be held after a future German unification. No such conference has been held after the reunification of 1990. The German position is that these debts have ceased to exist.”

      • So nobody can reply with any proof (other than your opinions) on the actual subject of the legality of reparations… you all change the subject… spout something everyone is just supposed top believe at face value with no references, or proof of any kind… like I thought.

      • Germany obtained forcibly from Greece a loan (occupation loan) of $ 3.5 billion. Hitler himself had recognized the legal (intergovernmental) character of this loan and had given orders to start the process of its repayment. After the end of the war, at the Paris meeting of 1946 Greece was awarded $ 7.1 billion, out of $ 14.0 billion requested, for war reparations.

        Italy repaid to Greece its share of the occupation loan, and both Italy and Bulgaria paid war reparations to Greece. Germany paid war reparations to Poland in 1956, and under pressure from the USA and the UK (to placate Tito and keep him from joining the Soviet block) paid war reparations to Yugoslavia in 1971. Greece demanded from Germany payment of the occupation loan in 1945, 1946, 1947, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1987, and in 1995 (after the unification of Germany). Before the unification of Germany, using the London Agreement of February 27, 1953, West Germany avoided to pay its obligations arising from the occupation loan and war reparations to Greece on the argument that no “final peace treaty” had been signed. In 1964, German chancellor Erhard pledged repayment of the loan after the reunification of Germany, which occurred in 1990. As the German magazine “Der Spiegel” wrote on July 23, 1990, with the Two (West and East Germany) Plus Four (USA, former Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and France) Agreement that paved the way for the German unification, the nightmare of demands for war reparations by all those damaged by Germany, which could be raised by signing a “peace treaty”, disappears. This statement by Der Spiegel has no legal basis whatsoever, but it is an acknowledgement of the devices Germany is using to refuse a settlement with Greece (see also guardian.co.uk, June 21, 2011). The same magazine, on June 21, 2011, quotes the economic historian Dr. Albrecht Ritschl, who warns Germany to take a more chaste approach in the euro crisis of 2008-2011, as it could face renewed and justified demands for WWII reparations.

      • The Forced Occupation loan never paid (in fact, because Germany did make 2 payments on the loan, the loan changed to an interest bearing loan… Germany wrote this loan contract by the way)… also, War Damage Reparations never paid… even their own economic historians understand the shaky legal underpinnings that Germany stakes this claim on. Just because Germany says the matter is closed, does not simply make it so. Again… please only reply if you can do so with any form of valid, accountable argument… if you can.

      • Read up…

        What are these debts?
        According to the Greek National Council for Asserting Debts of Germany to Greece:

        1) US-Dollar 7.1 billion (market value 1958) plus interests, as awarded by the International Conference in Paris (1960) for the damage caused to the country of the occupying German troops. This is the so-called ‘reparations’.

        2) The repayment of the so-called ”occupation loan” of US-Dollar 3.5 billion, plus interests. During the Nazi occupation, the loan was forced to be given by the occupied Greek government forced loan. This loan with interests rates and inflation it exceeds US-Dollar 25 billion.

        The amount of the loan was set by Germany itself immediately after the war. (Market prices of 1944).

        3) The payment of compensation to victims of the atrocities by the German army of occupation. The victims are 1,125,960 people. (38,960 executed, 12,000 dead from stray bullets, 70,000 killed in the battle field, 105,000 dead in concentration camps in Germany, 600,000 deaths from starvation and 300,000 of losses from low birth rates).

        4) The return of archaeological treasures seized by German troops.

        What Germany says
        The German side argues that there is no issue to pay reparations, using two arguments:

        1) Greece received compensation of 115 million DM from Germany in 1960

        2) According to the agreement at the London Conference (1953), Germany was exempted from reparations payments up to the point peace agreements are signed.

        In the German view, such a treaty has not been signed so far.

        However, there is the prevailing legal view that the agreement of 12.09.1990 (known as the 4+2) for the reunification of Germany, corresponds to a peace treaty and therefore Germany is required pay reparations.

      • Germanic tribesman… down the street where I live they have found signs of habitation (fishing tools, signs of fire use, habitation, etc.) over 10,000 years old… just down the sea from here they found the worlds first computer, it is over 2,000 years old… when did Germans build their first mechanical computer? Arguing that the people known as “German” today have anything to do with some rocks pointing out the direction of the sun a while back… or that it anyway compares to the massive, world changing, profound technological, academic, and philosophical output of Greek culture is simply silly.

  13. I have an idea.Why don’t you, Slogmeister, take some of the comments here and make a theatre script.Use our european leaders as actors and try to recreate a European Summit. That would generate interesting debate. If Europeans feel like that for each other then we better give up on the Middle East and various other places eligible for ”Democracy”.LOL!

  14. Ioannis, please tell me exactly what it is that you are taking, i want some of that stuff, too.

    “… the massive, world changing, profound technological, academic, and philosophical output of Greek culture …”

    I dearly respect admire the classical Greeks, as i admire the Sumerians, Egyptians and Romans. But dear, that was 2000 years ago. Greek dreams of world domination have been finished off four times: In the battle of Actium in 31 BC., in the sack of Constantinople in 1204, the fall of Byzance in 1453 and the loss of the greek war of conquest against Turkey in 1922.

    20th-century-style nationalism and ultra-pride is but ridiculous today. This is why the Germans gave up on that after they realized what led to 1945, not after before having invented the predecessor of the modern Computer with the Zuse Z series. And … at the subject of *big* cultural output … i see Greece has 2 Nobel Price laureates in its history, where Germany has only 102. Definitively a sign of greek superiority on every major level of human development in the last, say, two hundred years, in which Greece managed to manœvre itself into bankruptcy and default six times, in 1826, 1843, 1860, 1893, 1932 and in 2012. What a gorgeous achievement!

    • Another one that has to change the subject… as I thought… you cannot contradict any of my statements regarding the bills you owe… because you are full of crap, that can not be proven… anything else you have to say is just as valid. I won’t even entertain your neanderthal tribes “achievements” in the last couple of hundred years… because they are all based on science, thought, and academia created by Greece many thousands of years ago… maybe one day when your tribe grows up, say in a thousand years or so… you can try again.

  15. Another one that has to change the subject… as I thought… you cannot contradict any of my statements regarding the bills you owe… because you are full of crap, that can not be proven… anything else you have to say is just as valid. I won’t even entertain your neanderthal tribes “achievements” in the last couple of hundred years… because they are all based on science, thought, and academia created by Greece many thousands of years ago… maybe one day when your tribe grows up, say in a thousand years or so… you can try again.

  16. This is your greatest achievement in the last couple of hundred years… this is your moment of glory…

    ” Of 13 million Fragebogen (registrants) who were part of the Nazi regime… only 3, 445,100 were charged… of those charged , 2, 480,700 are granted blanket amnesty without even a trial… of the 964,400 persons whose war crimes were still deemed bad enough to face punitive action…. 569,600 were fined (slate wiped clean with cash)… another 124,400 suffered the indignity of work restrictions… 23,100 politicians lost eligibility to keep their public office (for being Nazi’s)… 25,900 had property acquired by theft from Jews confiscated… 30.500 got community service… 9,600 sent to labor camps… that left 90,000 of the worst convicted Nazi war criminals meant to go to jail for up to 10 years… only 300 served more than 2 years in jail for more than 2 years (from figured compiled in 1949, after sentencing in late 1947)… So out of 13 million men deemed complicit in the organized genocide of around 6 million people… we have 11 death sentences, and 300 men do more than a couple of years in prison… and when the West Germans took over responsibility for war crimes prosecutions, it got much worse… Almost every Nazi convicted of the greatest crime in history simply melted back into German society. They walked out of the prisons as if they were convicted of parking tickets… society welcomed them with open arms… so arrogant, so certain there would be no consequences… they were right.”

  17. Ioannis, is there anything else you can bring up about the terrible state in which Greece finds itself except blaming the Germans for the desastrous state of greek financial affairs with all that old boring Nazi crap?

    And no, Germany does not owe Greece any war reparations, done deal, that may not be to your amusement, dear, but it will not change due to you whining about, screaming around, stating long since known details of the evil guilty Nazi Germans on and on. It is getting boring, really, it has nothing to with the political and financial reality in 2012 in which Greece is trapped, and the more you complain the more annoying it gets. Greece, the eternal innocent victim, raging about how unfair the world is. What is the name of the game you play here?

    It is always better psychologically to act as if one had a right to old claims for money instead of being the irresponsible beggar at the doorstep, yes?

    • So… still no proof huh?… still trying to change the subject, and avoid the fact that you can not prove what you say, or disprove what I said… so pretty much a bunch of bollocks then. Pathetic.

    • Sorry… I just can’t take your off topic rants seriously… until you make some kind of FACT based argument and stop wasting everyone’s time, instead of trying to change the subject and reiterating your opinions on the the subject involved… it is now, beneath me to answer your knuckle dragging, antagonistic, meandering, and vitriolic goading. Bye

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