If you think Greece current economic disaster is the worst ever happened in Europe with a debtor country, please think twice. In the past century another country has this shameful record. Guess who! …Germany! This is finally showing how Frau Merkel’s country has no basis for this demanding obedience to the debt rules for countries such as either Greece, Portugal or Italy. In fact in the 20th century Germany has been responsible of the biggest national bankruptcies happen to a nation, and it’s been saved only by the U.S.A. decision to drop big amounts the German debt built by the Weimar Republic between 1924 and 1929 that eventually became insoluble during 1931 economic crisis. Then again the situation repeated after World War II, and the cancellation of vast parts of the new debt helped German economic boom in the 1950’s, which would never have happened without the debt cancellation. The amount of the these debts makes the Greek debt insignificant, as the amount of the 1930’s debt was as huge as the whole European crisis of 2008.
Italian Version: Se pensate che l’attuale disastro economico Greco sia il peggiore della storia europea, per favore pensateci ancora. Nel secolo passato un’altra nazione ha avuto questo record infamante. Indovinate chi! …La Germania! E questo mostra in maniera definitiva come il paese di Frau Merkel non ha le minime basi per chiedere questa obbedienza alle regole del debito verso paesi quali la Grecia, il Portogallo o l’Italia. In fatti nel 20esimo secolo la Germania è stata responsabile di aver creato la più grande bancarotta statale mai accaduta ad un paese ed è stata salvata solo dalla decisione degli U.S.A. di cancella re gran parte del debito tedesco creato durante la Repubblica di weimar tra il 1924 ed il 1929 che divenne poi di fatto insolvibile durante la crisi economica del 1931. Poi ancora la situazione s’è ripetuta dopo la II Guerra Mondiale, e la cancellazione di vasta parte di questo nuovo debito aiutò il boom economico tedesco degli anni ’50, che non sarebbe mai accaduto senza la cancellazione del debito. L’ammontare di questi debiti paragonato a quello greco attuale lo rende insignificante, visto che il totale del debito degli anni ’30 era così enorme come il totale della crisi europea del 2008.
Former German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (left) during a meeting with the High Commission of the Allies in 1951: Eschewing of reparations demands “a life-saving gesture”
Albrecht Ritschl, professor of economic history at the London School of Economics. Born in Munich, has explained this well clear in an interview released by Der Spiegel last year.
S: You’re saying that Germany should back down?
R: In the 20th century, Germany started two world wars, the second of which was conducted as a war of annihilation and extermination, and subsequently its enemies waived its reparations payments completely or to a considerable extent. No one in Greece has forgotten that Germany owes its economic prosperity to the grace of other nations.
S: What do you mean by that?
R: The Greeks are very well aware of the antagonistic articles in the German media. If the mood in the country turns, old claims for reparations could be raised, from other European nations as well. And if Germany ever had to honor them, we would all be taken the cleaners. Compared with that, we can be grateful that Greece is being indulgently reorganized at our expense. If we follow public opinion here with its cheap propaganda and not wanting to pay, then eventually the old bills will be presented again.
S: Looking at history, what would be the best solution for Greece — and for Germany?
R: The German bankruptcies in the last century show that the sensible thing to do now would be to have a real reduction of the debt. Anyone who has lent money to Greece would then have to give up a considerable part of what they were owed. Some banks would not be able to cope with that, so there would have to be new aid programs. For Germany, this could be expensive, but we will have to pay either way. At least Greece would then have the chance to start over.
Written by MarcoPres
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