“​Payback time? Greek PM seeks reparations over Nazi occupation & war-time loan…”

Well, well, well…
I remember sayin’ it a couple of days ago, that what seemed to be a Russian stunt in the beginning, may turn into an internationally legitimate outcry for a justice Germany hoped to have been brushed under history’s dirty rug…
Please someone help me understand, why would individual nazi war criminals need to be chased and prosecuted for crimes against humanity, while the common denominator of these mass assassins, Germany, is still at large, happily collecting interests on loans given to nations they themselves have left devastated and bankrupt?
«Berlin has vehemently refused to consider the payment of any reparations. “Nearly 70 years after the end of World War II, the question of reparations has lost legitimacy,” a German finance ministry spokesman declared recently.»
Wow, someone really needs to believe themselves to be untouchable Übermensch, above any ethical obligation, moral, civil or any other law, to have the shamelessness to declare such an enormity.
Payback time?
I hope so…

http://rt.com/news/230479-greece-tsipras-germany-nazi/

image

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (Reuters / Francois Lenoir)

«Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, referring to Nazi Germany’s four-year occupation of Greece and a forced war-time loan during World War II that saddled the Greek economy in huge debt, wants Berlin to pay reparations.
Tsipras, leader of the anti-austerity Syriza party, said Athens had a “historical obligation” to claim from Germany billions of euros in reparations for the physical and financial destruction committed during Nazi Germany’s occupation of Greece.
Beyond the historical obligation, he said Greece had “a moral obligation to our people, to history, to all European peoples who fought and gave their blood against Nazism,” he said in a keynote address to parliament on Sunday.
The Greek leader’s comments have resonated far beyond Athens as they place the issue of his country’s recent massive bailout at the behest of international creditors in a whole new light.
After Nazi forces took control of Greece in 1941, the stage was set for one of the bloodiest confrontations of World War II as Greek resistance fighters put up a fierce struggle to end the occupation.They were powerless, however, to prevent the Third Reich from extracting an interest-free 476 million Reichsmarks loan from the Greek central bank, which devastated the Greek economy.
A 2012 report by the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, estimated the value of the loan at US$8.25 billion. Greece, however, puts the value of the loan at €11 billion, the To Vima newspaper reported in January, citing confidential financial documents.
Tsipras claims Germany owes Greece around €162 billion ($183 billion) – about half the country’s debt load, which is estimated at over €315 billion.
The figure is said to cover €108 billion for infrastructure damage wrought by the occupying Nazi forces between 1941 and the end of the war, and €54 billion as compensation for the unpaid loan.
Berlin has vehemently refused to consider the payment of any reparations. “Nearly 70 years after the end of World War II, the question of reparations has lost legitimacy,” a German finance ministry spokesman declared recently.
German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel also denies any opportunity of making payments to Greece, as the treaty signed in 1990 did not outline any additional payments in the future.
“The probability is zero,” he said.
However, Greece does not agree and says the payments must be discussed with united Germany – not with the nation as it was in 1990.
On 25 January 2015, Tsipras led Syriza to a stunning victory, attracting 36 percent of the vote and 149 out of the 300 seats in the parliament. Now, the energetic 40-year-old prime minister aims to make good on his pledge to eliminate unpopular austerity measures demanded by the global financial lenders in return for massive loan bailouts.
At the same time, the new Greek government said it would not accept the latest tranche of the IMF bailout valued at €7 billion.
On May 1, 2010, former Prime Minister George Papandreou announced a fourth round of austerity measures, which included steeper public sector pay cuts, pension reductions and new taxes on corporate profits. These measures prompted a nationwide strike on 5 May, which led to the death of three activists as the demonstrations turned violent.
Understanding that austerity measures cannot resolve Greece’s problems, Syriza hopes to refill government coffers by issuing treasury bills.
“We only have one commitment: to serve the interests of our people, the good of society,” Tsipras said, while emphasizing the “irreversible decision” of his government to carry out its campaign promises.»

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7 responses to ““​Payback time? Greek PM seeks reparations over Nazi occupation & war-time loan…”

  1. Pretty cheap polemic…
    The little fact aside that originally it wasn’t Germany who declared war on Greek, it was Italy, and after Italy lost, Germany was forced to help out their alley (the only reason why they were in Greek at all). It’s not that important for the discussion because Italy “paid” by giving up the Dodekannes Islands -which were originally conquered by the turks, and then ended up with Italy – okay, that’s getting to complicated….
    Let’s also ignore that Germany was not the only country in Europe which got money from the Marshal plan, most did, including Greek. I just mention this because of the little fable that Greek never got any help after the war while Germany got helped from everyone. That is simply not true.
    But let’s concentrate on the question what Germany paid.
    Germany repeatedly compensated Holocaust victim (not that money really makes anything better but by 2012 Germany (mostly West-Germany) had paid 70,050 billion Euro compensation) and that included the Greek Holocaust victims. Specifically Germany paid to Greek 115 million Mark for the victims in 1960 (though if the money actually ended where it was supposed to is questionable, since it was paid to the Greek government, not to individual victims).
    But what Greek is really talking about are 30.000 t commedies (worth 25 dollar, annualized 2 million Euro, which, with interest, would be roghly 30.000 Euro Greek is talking about). The problem is: Germany DID pay. In 1950 the first 10.000 were shipped to Greek, but the ships somehow “vanished”. The other 20.000 t have waited on ships in Hamburg for the Greeks, but the Greeks never bothered take care of the goods, so Germany finally sold the (by then rusty) ships to the UK government. Instead they gave Greek a credit with very low interests over 200 million Mark in 1953.
    During the German Reunion, Greek has officially acknowledged that Germany had paid off everything they were due. Now, I don’t deny that the Greek suffered greatly because Hitler made an exemple out of them. I don’t deny that the allies might have underestimated the damage which was done to Greek greatly. I don’t deny that there are still historical pieces in museums all over the world which belong to Greek. But Greek had their opportunity to collect, and they squandered it, repeatedly. And I wonder what any other country would say if they suddenly had to pay for damage they did so far in the past. The current batch of polititians, they were born after the war. They don’t remember. But do you know what they do remember, especially in Merkel’s case? Living behind a wall. Did Germany get some relief after the war? Well, West-Germany got some. But that doesn’t mean that Germany got it easy and never paid for for what they did. They paid. They paid by dying in the war. They paid by dying AFTER the war. They paid by loosing large part of their land. They paid by living in a split country for ages. They paid by knowing that a large part of their population lived under an oppressive regime which destroyed many families. They paid by dying by the hands of said oppressive regime. They paid over and over again. Is it really so surprising that the current generation, which had nothing to do with the war, but paid for it nevertheless (and is still paying in order to help out what used to be east Germany), is now saying “enough!”`?

    Greek currently acts as if they had gotten no help whatsoever. The truth is that they already got relief. They already got credits. They already got help. And you can bet that the other countries would be way more open to giving out additional credits or another relief if Greek would show some willingless to clean house. But they don’t, instead they try to push for a construct in which every state in the Euro-zone vouches for the other states…can you imagine how fast this would pull whole Europe even more in dept? It’s easy to say that the sums Greek needs are peanuts for Germany. Germany is barely managing to keep their own debt under control after the reunification ensured that they somehow have to pay pensions aso for a population which never paid anything into the German social system. It’s easy to blame Germany for everything…but Germany isn’t even the EU. It is one country in the EU. And obviously not the only one which isn’t ready to pay off the debt of a state which is constantly acting in bad faith.

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    • Sorry to reply so late…
      I do understand the frustrated reaction of your wounded German pride. It is a “normal” reaction”, unfortunately not offered to the hundreds of millions exterminated by the expansionist WWII war machine of the axis powers. Also no pride was left to the thousands of millions of descendents left behind, to a life of generational humiliations, poverty and hopelessness, behind the socio-economic disasters following WWII, while the main beligerant power Germany, has recovered “miraculously” in less than a generation. And miracles do not exist, and turning the other cheek is the option of fools only, a rational answer must be found; and traces of it are there, in the article.
      You talk about Germany’s “forced” obligations towards its warmongering partners, exactly the way the top german nazi assassins justified their horrors with the obligation to obey superior orders.
      Excuse me, but your attempts to justify anything are “pretty cheap”, considering the option of “what about Germany and the axis powers would have stayed in their own homes, trying to mind their own business”?
      Germany DID pay, you say?
      What? Money? Great! You just forgot to mention where could we buy back our forever lost relatives, our roots, our future? Please do tell me, please do tell us!
      You precisely do the maths of mercantilism with an utter disregard for the pricelessness of human life and suffering, for the irreversible damage to the future of the victim countries, while -mainly- Germany is dictating -again-, from its politico-economic supremacy, over the empoverished lives of the descendents of those it murdered just about a generation ago…
      And please, do yourself a favour: when you enter a “polemic” at least learn about its basiscs…
      It’s Greece, not “Greek”…

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      • Let’s put it this way: How would you feel if Turkey would suddenly say “you are still owing us something for the last war”? Or, put it even simpler, if someone turned up at your doorstep and said “you know, your grandfather betrayed our grandfather once, and with all the interest, you now owe us 1 billion Euro”?
        This is not about “pride”. This is about saying “it is enough”. My Grand-grandparents paid for the wars, my Grandparents did, my parents did, and I did. And I don’t want my children to pay too.
        If it is about reparations, Germany paid what they were suppose to pay, and if Greece didn’t claim the goods, it was their own fault. If is about the credit, it was either a theft done by the Nazis and then it falls under reperations, or it is a leget zero interest credit, meaning Germany owes Grece exactly the amount of the original credit and not one cent more. If it about the holocaust victims, Germany has paid again and again, and it is time to stop, not just because of Greece, but because Israel has used the guilt of Germany to get weaponery for their own war again Palestine. So the guilt Germany feels over autricities which happened 70 years ago results in new autricities which are committed now.
        Germany didn’t force Greece to join the EU. Germany didn’t force Greece to use the Euro. The only one who was forced into the Euro was Germany because that was the price the country had to pay for reunification, just another of the various amends Germany made since the war.
        And you know what? This is not even just about Greece and Germany. They are part of a bigger union. A union in which Germany, despite what some people like to claim, doesn’t call the shots but can only try to reach agreements. Germany isn’t dictating anything, if you would really follow European policy you would know that Germany is often overvoted. The majority of the states in Europe doesn’t vote for the help for Greece, including some who have similiar problems. And do you know why? Because they know that if all the states which are currently holding on (and don’t make a mistake, that is exactly what they do), are forced to vouch for the debts of the ones they don’t, it would only encourage more free spending in those countries which would pull the whole of Europe into bancruptcy.
        When Germany was down after the war, they didn’t argue, they followed the rules set for them, and they did their very best to make it better this time around. So how about Greece trying this approach too for a change? Implementing a new system, finally ensuring the shipping is no longer tax free, and that the money which is there is spend wisely instead of lining the pockets of the politicians? It’s a tall order, but no one will be ready to pump even more money in a state which acts in bad faith. (Not that any German ever expected Greece to actually repay the debt, but it would have been nice to get prooved wrong for a change).

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        • For the record: in my case, it is Turkey which should pay, as they themselves thought to expand their islamic lebensraum over my batterd native homeland, Transylvania.
          On a second thought, I truly sympathize with your personal agony, caused by historical damages you yourself have nothing to do with.
          Nevertheless, I hope you shall one day realise, that those of us still living on the wrong side of Germany’s historical warmongering, have no reason to extend an olive branch to a country which for our past and present, means nothing more but suffering. Should your grand-grandparents’ generation not give in to Hitler’s promises of prosperity over my grand-grandparents’ generation’s sufferings and loss, I wouldn’t have had been forced to immigrate for the second time in order to spare my children of the impoverished heritage I’ve been left with in Eastern Europe.
          And in your place, I’d leave Israel out of discussion. If anyone has no right to question what we are doing, it is Germany, who has left most of us of Jewish heritage, orphans both of our past and our future.
          We wouldn’t have really needed to recreate our ancestral homeland, if Germany wouldn’t have have considered us good only for quality war soap…

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          • Which of my ancestors are you talking about? The ones which, I suspect, were part the of the Nazi party, the ones who just tried to survive under a government which they didn’t want but was forced onto them, or the ones which died by the hand of the Nazis? I have the whole spectrum to offer.

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  2. The first batch you mentioned…
    As I said, it is very difficult to keep alive the memory of my lost roots. It takes a rational effort of will to choose NOT to forgive Germany and its governmental institutions, while having a humanly considerate attitude towards the german people of today.
    You see the children of those who forgave and forgot the pogroms, were the ones silently and confidently waiting for the German government to treat all its citizens equally, regardless of their religion or political affiliation.
    Children have a natural tendency to forget and forgive. That’s how an entire generation quietly, like stupid sheep, boarded the trains taking them to slaughter.
    Well, I will make sure my children shall not forget why we don’t have pictures of their ancestors.

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