Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Letter on Germany and Greece

Larry Elliott`s article was a timely reminder of how leniently Germany was treated after the second world war, particularly in relation to the Marshall Plan, from which Germany was granted "four times as much as Greece received", and to the "granting of debt relief at the London conference of 1953" (For Germany 1953,read Greece 2015,07/07/15). This "Lesson from History" surprisingly omitted the important point that such generosity was brought about by the realisation that "squeezing" a country "until the pips squeak" was counter-productive, and creates only increased animosity; the continued insistence by the eurozone to impose harsh austerity on the Greeks can only lead to exactly that.
   Regardless of the suffering about to be endured by the Greek people, including, after its exit from the eurozone, hyper-inflation, which ironically is etched into the mind of every German politician following Germany`s 1923 experience, politics takes precedence. An anti-austerity party like Syriza cannot be allowed any form of success, for fear of encouraging electorates in the other debt-laden countries, and that, sadly, is more important, obviously, than not only all historical antecedents, but also than driving Greece into the arms of Russia, and the Greeks suffering yet more intolerable hardship. And all the while, the fact that prosperous countries like France and Germany lent Greece billions to enable her to buy their goods, including weapons, as Giles Fraser reminded us at the weekend, remains conveniently forgotten (Throughout history, debt and war have been constant partners,04/07/15).


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