world

Greek PM accuses Germany of using legal tricks to avoid WW2 reparations

42 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

42 Comments
Login to comment

WilliB: With a return of the cheap Drachma, Greek tourism would immediately become attractive again and start earning currency for the country.

Not clear on this. But how could Greece make a cheap drachma without unilaterally dropping its European debt? If Greece keeps the debt won't the drachma have to service it? Making everything expensive?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its me:

" I don't see it staying or leaving of much of a difference. "

Then you have not been paying attention. It is a world of a difference if a country has its own currency (which it can print) or is using a currency it has no control over.

" Greece survived mostly on the tourist dollars, "

...which don´t buy you much in a Greece that is using Euros. Which is the reason the tourist industry in Greece is deep in the proverbial you know what. With a return of the cheap Drachma, Greek tourism would immediately become attractive again and start earning currency for the country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't see it staying or leaving of much of a difference.

Greece survived mostly on the tourist dollars, still recall all the frequent government changes.

Greece mostly gets payed via tourist money, fees from Freighters, etc. It doesn't really have that much of a specialised industry to sell globally. But pays very little itself.

Take a scoop from the right or left side of the same pie.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sentiments:

" Well the grexit is one way and it could work. Unfortunately I think a Grexit scenario may also lead to a serious increase of civil unrest (possibly civil war) which would be a perfect horror scenario. Therefore a painful bet reasonably stable austerity treatment is a better way for everyone. "

Not it is not, because it can not possibly work. And remember that Tsipras was elected on precisely the promise ENDING the austority program and open the government spending floodgates. What do you think happens if he makes a 180 degree turn and offers --- more austerity to his electorate? Talk about civil unrest...

More austerity + bailouts just means pushing the problem down the road.

The Grexit is the solution. Of course it will have to be accompanied by a haircut for the bankers. So of course the bankers and their cronies are hell-bent on keeping Greece in the Eurozone, i.e. protecting their pork.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well the grexit is one way and it could work. Unfortunately I think a Grexit scenario may also lead to a serious increase of civil unrest (possibly civil war) which would be a perfect horror scenario. Therefore a painful bet reasonably stable austerity treatment is a better way for everyone. Greece pride and economy is seriously hurt and the blame should be passed on to a row of incompetent political leaders.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lol, so basically the same as Japan and Korea. This is why you don't give in to compensation demands; you set precedents and they never end. There's a good reason these recipient countries keep bringing demands up

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Olegek:

Suddenly pulling out the "Nazi card" in 2015 is a sign of desperation -- no rational argument, so he comes up with the ultimate cheap shot; the equivalent of a low punch in boxing.

Tsipiras should be honest and say that Greece is bankrupt, its debt can and will not be paid back, the Euro is the wrong currency for Greece, and Greece should never have gotten into the Euro with its faked budget numbers.

Merkel and Schäuble should swallow that and move on. Goldman-Sachs and the other loan sharks should take their haircut.

A clear cut -- the only way to move on. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.

In the event, that is how Greece ended the Latin Monitary Union too. Read up on it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

presto345 Many decades after the fact Greece demands more compensation from Germany. The same Germany that destroyed Europe but also helped to rejuvenate it, in fact is now its strongest economy

Tsipras said the 1960 deal only covered compensation for the victims of Nazi horrors, not the destruction wrought on Greece by the 1941-1944 occupation during World War Two.

Even if Germany it's OK today it should compensate it's crimes during WW II

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@Kevin Davis I acknowledge my confusion between Denver and Detroit. It seems you got my point though. If you read my messages you will see that I am not the one that throws hate. After all it was you went on talking about "Greek people are we talking about the same greek people who don't pay taxes and retire at the age of i sixty and basically milked their governments social security program".

I do agree with many that said that either Greece should let leave eurozone and thats the only way to be able to deal with such a huge debt or EU take responsibility and find a good solution that doesn't include bring all population to starvation limit in order to pay back the debt.

As for austerities that someone else mentioned. Off course in Greece all these years the taxes raised and the salaries when down and even in the public employees some benefits where cut off. That lead to almost 30% of unemployment rate and people with no jobs can not pay any taxes, moreover higher taxes. As for the rich people and big companies they always get way, and this is not happening only in Greece. You said something about americans paying their taxes and maybe its true for the people up to middle class. Do you think that Apple lets say is paying their taxes in USA? Why they have moved to the tax heaven of Ireland then?

I would also love to see to cut off more spendings by reducing the public employees but lower the taxes to the people and give motivation to start new business by lower corp taxes for companies who are hiring. I never said also that the new government is doing great or that I agree on everything they are doing. I said that the situation does not going any further under this program and it has proven, but EU (Germany) demands unrealistic budgets of 5+% .

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Many decades after the fact Greece demands more compensation from Germany. The same Germany that destroyed Europe but also helped to rejuvenate it, in fact is now its strongest economy. Tsipiras is liked by his fellow citizens for his approach to squeeze more concessions out of the EU and especially from Germany, but his job is to wrangle his country out of its dire situation and alienate the EU countries is not going to help. Bringing up Nazi Germany is pretty low and won't bring the man or the country much respect.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

rocknroll:

Wow! I wonder if Tsipiras is overplaying his hand. I think he can bluff the Germans into more bailouts, but this Nazi stuff is way over the top. Wheels are coming off the cart, indeed.

Wolfgang Schauble, by the way, reminds me more of the Gollum from the Lord of the Rings than Dr. Strangelow.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I guess WilliB the wheels are about to come seriously off the cart...best be seated when reading .....

Greece demands Nazi war reparations and German assets seizures as creditor squeeze continues Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras revives claims for compensation and the possibility of seizing German assets in return for the crimes carried out by the Third Reich ..........

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11463568/Greece-demands-Nazi-war-reparations-as-rhetoric-turns-nasty-in-creditor-talks.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

WilliBMAR. The EEC was fine. Nothing wrong with a common market.

1 Yes, long time ago - may be.

But in East Europe it gone in wrong direction. Especially in little Baltic states.

2 Germany have a lot of time to regulate all this questions with war crimes.

So it's a German fault.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

itsonlyrocknroll:

You deserve a 100 thumbs up. Spot on!

olegek:

The EEC was fine. Nothing wrong with a common market. It is the Euro currency scheme which has created this mess. As the critics predicted from the start.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

John Constantine "Greeks have directed much of their fury over their bailout terms at Germany, the biggest financial contributor." Never bite the hand that feeds.

Germany not feed Greece. Germany not feed anybody.

Germany just colonise EU.

Before entering EU Greece was not so developed country, but without huge debts.

Greece had excelent agriculture and ship building industry BEFORE entering EU

These branches were destroyed according to EU rules.

25 years in EU as a result - it's no economy in Greece huge debts and social disorder...

like in any normal colony...

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Both the Greek and German governments are standing in the proverbial economic, political deep and smelly. Angela Merkel, de facto Europe's 'undisputed' leader, with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble who shares a uncanny resemblance to Dr Strangelove are hollering at Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his erstwhile Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis don't make a wave.

The deep and smelly take the form of a Greek default, €287bn taking into account Target2 liabilities to the European Central Bank, holdings of Greek bonds, accumulated bilateral loans and loans from the bail-out fund. Total 'Target2' Bundesbank claims on the ECB system are above €530bn and rising. A Greek disorderly exit would engulf the entire ECB financial system and the ramifications would be felt globally, Spain, Portugal, and Italy would be sitting targets and would not escape political contagion.

To add insult to injury, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras invokes the Nazi occupation of Greece, and underhand legal trickery for German alleged avoidance in paying reparations. Greece delivering on its reform pledges are pie in the sky wishful thinking, tax avoidance is a national pastime, and measures to reverse this practice before a selective default is extremely unrealistic. The only creditable course of action is a Greek 'orderly exit' from the Euro-zone and that will entail 'haircuts' for creditors. Why couldn't Europe's political elite just have been satisfied with a common single market????

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@siniestro you want to call me out for not spending any time in Greece fair enough seems like a beautiful country but let's not confuse facts here fact#1 Denver is not a state it is a city in Colorado fact#2 it is not bankrupt fact #3 Detroit is bankrupt fact#4 Detroit is in Michigan anything else at least I do have my facts right you however are hate spewing and don't have your facts even close to right

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sentiments:

" However I think that the major players in EU has already decided on an hard line option. But first they want to see if Alexis was mostly talk and accepts to come around after some time with rhetorics. If he does it is better for everyone (except his governments prestige) "

Couldn`t disagree more. If he accepts to yet more "austerity" and bailouts, it is not better for anyone, it is simply piling more pain to the Greek people and more expenses for Germany et al, which will never be paid back. There is NO WAY to turn Greek into a high-tech economy like Germany by administrative measures.

The only way to solve the problem is the Grexit. Yes, that will be painful, but it is a solution. Continuing down the current road is only making things worse.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

WilliB: Couldn't agree more. However I think that the major players in EU has already decided on an hard line option. But first they want to see if Alexis was mostly talk and accepts to come around after some time with rhetorics. If he does it is better for everyone (except his governments prestige) and if he doesn't, it is time to let Greece float on its own. Maybe China will be interested. I feel sorry for the Greek people.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Here is an interesting snippet I came across. Guess when this was written?

It is hard to see why the admission of Greece to the Latin Union should have been desired or allowed by that body. In no sense was she a desirable member of the league. Economically unsound, convulsed by political struggles, and financially rotten, her condition was pitiable. Struggling with a burden of debt, Greece was also endeavouring to maintain in circulation a large amount of inconvertible paper. She was not territorially a desirable adjunct to the Latin Union, and her commercial and financial importance was small. Nevertheless her nominal admission was secured, and we may credit the obscure political influences ... with being able to effect what economic and financial considerations could not. Certainly it would be hard to understand on what other grounds her membership was attained.

Source: Henry Parker Willis in his report ‘History of the Latin Monetary Union’, written in 1901

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Greeks have squandered every DM and euro ever given to them; why should they have more.

Maybe the Germans should turn off the ATMs in Greece to teach them a lesson.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

siniestro:

" In USA the Denver state declared bankruptcy but they didn't cut off the roads, electricity or blame the people of being lazy because of that. Its still a USA state and they are going to help it recover. "

I didn´t know that Denver is a US state, but lets assume it is. If Denver declared bancruptcy, the creditors would get burned, as it should be. Denver does not ask for open-ended bailouts from, say, New York, because Denver "must not go bankrupt".

But that is exactly what Greece is doing. Instead of declaring bankruptcy (and giving Goldman-Sachs et al a haircut), Greece demands open-ended transfer payments from Europe to keep and increase its debt load.

Thanks for making my point...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@siniestro every news organization From cnn to RT has reported on the tax thing in Greece so unless you live in a bubble you don't have a clue do you even know what the current party that's runs Greece had run on let me give you a clue start actually collecting taxes from the people that owe which isn't a couple of euros its in the tens of billions and I am from America and yes people do pay taxes where I come from because if you don't you go to jail just ask Wesley snipes or Lauren hill.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sinestro:

" Do you have any idea how big is the USA debt? Do you think that USA will ever going to pay it back? "

The US debt is in dollars, and of course they can pay it back... they can print as many dollars as the want. ("Quantitative easing", if you want to put a fancy term on it.)

The Greek debt is in a currency which is not under the control of the Greek central bank, which is the root of the problem, as I have pointed out several times.

If Greek debt was in Drachma, this issue would not exist. Come on, this has been explained so many times, you really don´t need to bring up this red herring again.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And again. 125%, sure. And they plan to bring it back to this. But what are plans without actions. And this Greek government is lacking actions so far. All nothing but words!

Besides, neither Japan nor the USA are a part of the EU. So you can't really compare.

Also, it seems that you like the word "austerity". Let me give you an explanation taken from Wiki:

"In economics, austerity is the policy of reducing government budget deficits during times of economic recession. Austerity policies may include spending cuts, tax increases, or a mixture of both.[1][2][3] Austerity may be undertaken to demonstrate the government's fiscal discipline to their creditors and credit rating agencies by bringing revenues closer to expenditures."

I have not seen the Greek government reducing the government budget (they want to hire more state employees again, and so on).

No spending cuts, no tax increases and definitely not a mixture of both, as described above.

But maybe your "austerity" definition is somewhat different, soemthing that suits you more?

I never said and will never say that the "normal" Greek population is lazy, how could I! I never said they steal money from the EU. It is your politicians who (it seems to me) don't know what they are talking about and how to handle the crisis. Can I provide options? That is the job of the European states and their leaders.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Its all about Germany because Germany is the one who decides in EU. They may keep on doing all these meetings for the show but after all its what Germany says that its going to be decided in EU.

Do you have any idea how big is the USA debt? Do you think that USA will ever going to pay it back? If one day they decided just to print it in real money their land is not enough to lay a single dollar on it. These are just numbers in the modern economy.

Do you know how much is the debt of Japan and how much bigger it is in % of GDP compared to Greece? Why Japan doesn't have any problem borrowing from the markets?

Do you know that when the crisis started the debt of Greece was 125% of GDP and that their new goal after all the program finish in around 2025 is it to bring it back to 125% and then they are gonna consider it is manageable?

Do you know that the IMF has already admitted that they miscalculated the numbers of the program and its not viable?

We know that the Greek politicians where corrupted and in favor of all the rich Greek people that avoided paying the taxes. We know that Greece has to reform. We know that Germany or EU its not the reason that Greece come up with the economical crisis in the beginning but we know that whatever program they came up after 4-5 years doesn't work and things are just getting worse. So they have to do something else. The previous governments where following the directions of the EU and the debt is raising instead of lowering. All I am saying is that its ridiculous to hear all the recently created stereotypes that the greeks are lazy and stealing money from EU. There is a economical crisis in an EU member country and EU has to solve it not make it worse. Its also obviously that by putting more austerity measurements it doesn't work.

In USA the Denver state declared bankruptcy but they didn't cut off the roads, electricity or blame the people of being lazy because of that. Its still a USA state and they are going to help it recover.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Siniestro:

It is the SYSTEM that is destroying Greece, not Germany or any other single country. Have you ever wondered why Greece was doing fine with its Drachma, and we never heard any of these nationalist rants that come out now?

The Euro created a gigantic party in the PIIG countries, especially Greece, with people borrowing and spending their new, hard currency, at cheap intest rates that they had never had before. But inevitably, the hangover set in once it turned out that these loans would have to be paid back with interest.... as you say, about 5 years ago.

All of this was predicted EXACTLY by the Euro critics before Greece got into the Euro (with faked numbers, by the way: plenty of warning voices were ignored at the time). Have you never wondered why the already the early Euro critics were able to predict the current problems exactly?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ siniestro

I understand your national pride, but here we go again: Germany this and Germany that.

Of course "Greece is innocent, all those problems were and are not home-made." It is NOT and I say again not Germany that is pushing Greece to the limits! If at all, then it is Europe - not just one country.

And don't you agree that money you borrow should be paid back? Don't you agree that many of the "high profile" people in Greece, i.e. those with all the money did not pay the taxes they should have paid over the years? So, please, lets not start again a discussion who is responsible for the economic disaster in Greece. It is definitely NOT Germany!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sentiments:

" Time for the greek politicians to take their responsibility. "

Well, except what is that responsibility? Tsipras was elected on the promise of continuing the free lunch for Greece --- i.e. endless, open-ended bailouts from the northern countries, mainly Germany. Do you expect him to go back on that? And the Greek voters believed that was possible. None of the candidates told the electorate the truth, i.e. that there are no simple, painless choices. They all told them that Greece can stay in the Euro, without state bankruptcy, and with continued bailouts.

The Greeks elected a clever gambler (with a Phd in game theory, I believe), who is now playing a game of chicken with Germany. And he might very well win this time.

Ultimately, if EU leaders continue with their Euro "rescue" programs, the game will be over when Germany and Holland are as bankrupt as Greece. It will not be a pretty situation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Kevin Davis Where exactly you learned all this informations about the greek people? You read them on some newspaper or site? Have you ever been a single day in Greece and talked with the people there? Please post me facts of your saying otherwise you cannot talk about any nation without proofs. Why dont you also tell us from which great country you came from and if everyone in your country is paying all their taxes?

Greece had corrupted governments thats is true. Though the debt is not all part of that and definitely not because manage to "steal" money from EU. You cannot fool someone for so many year and such a great amount of money without noticing unless his is total ignorant. I don't believe EU was ignorant for 10 years, something else happening here and its not definitely fault of the people of a nation.

Germany made a world war destroyed the whole europe (Greece included) and when the reunited they came to an agreement to delete all the compensations and debt they had to the other countries, we are talking about huge amount of money. Greece also helped them, an ex-enemy and now that Greece is in trouble and also supposedly a partner country of Germany they are pushing them to the limits.

Greece is 5 years in crisis and has lost 25% of the GDP because of the austerity measurements. To compare that Ukraine that is in war for one whole year has lost only 8% of the GDP. Something is not working on this program obviously and thats is exactly what Greece is saying now. Find another way, no more austerity.

Greece was following the program for the last 4 years and these are the results. Don't tell me they were not, because otherwise the EU would have stop giving money as they are threatening now. Its not one year its 5 years now already.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Well maybe mr Alexis T is feeling the pressure. He won the election by promising the people a much better situation, almost the same crazy overspending as before, without having any realistic ideas about how to achieve that. This is just a desperate cry for money and to save face. I think IMF and ECB has been patient so far but enough is enough. Time for the greek politicians to take their responsibility.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

WilliB, I agree.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Tsipras and his colleagues should first of all ask themselves what is wrong with Greece and the economy, before blaming everything on Germany! Here we go again: national interests come first. And history has shown where this will lead to. Kevin Davis (even though it is a darned long sentence) has said it all already.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Really kabukilover Greek debt wasn't created by Greek people are we talking about the same greek people who don't pay taxes and retire at the age of sixty and basically milked their governments social security program dry and then when they joined the European Union got even more emboldened to milk the euro zone for money and then when the eurozone got tired of lending money to a country that had massive corruption at the government level wanted the Greeks to actually make a contribution suddenly they didn't have any money and the tax cheats were leaving that country like a bunch of cockroaches when the light comes on you mean those Greeks

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The Euro politicians believed that the Euro project would unite Europe. The Eurospectics from start said that the opposite would happen, as in a single currency eventually the stronger economies would have to make transfer payments to the weaker ones (violating the "no bailout" clause that had signed).

No we see who is right. We have PIIG politicians playing the Nazi card.... something that was unthinkable before the Euro.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is not going to end well.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Greece can always chose default and Grexit but would that would send them back to the Stone Age, locked out of capital markets. Since the main debtor is the government, Grexit would clear it's Euro liabilities but it's markets would then have to resort to operating with the currency equivalent of beads and seashells.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sounds like Tsipras deserves honorary Korean citizenship!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The Greek government has not officially quantified its reparation claims, and Berlin has long said that it has already honored all its war obligations, including a payment of 115 million deutsch marks (59 million euros) to Greece in 1960.

This reminds me of 2 other countries.

I agree with compensation but there has to be a time limit. Yes, there will be victims who never get what they deserve. Sad but true. People are being subjected to various horrors around the world right now for those who prefer to dwell on WW2. How about we focus on the present instead?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Greeks have directed much of their fury over their bailout terms at Germany, the biggest financial contributor."

Never bite the hand that feeds.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The problem is not treaties but power. Germany is powerful and Greece is weak. And nobody cares about the Greeks.

That Germany is refusing reparations to Greece shows what a hypocrite Merkel is.

Greek debt was not created by the Greek people and they are the ones being made to suffer for it.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Oh, this Tsipras toolbag is a real pip, isn't he? Digging right into the "blatant diversion" bag o' tricks to misdirect the Greek electorate from the simple truth that he is wholly and appalingly unfit to lead.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites