Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Greek Report: Germany owes us billions in reparations for two World Wars!

The alleged claims against Germany reach a grand total of 162-billion euros ($214-billion), including 108-billion euros ($238-billion) for rebuilding the country after the Nazi occupation from 1941 to 1944. This is 80% of Greek GDP.
The panel was chaired by Panagiotis Karakousis, head of the General Accounting Office at the Finance Ministry, and relied on 190,000 pages of documents scattered in archives. (from "Don’t mention the war (debt): Germany owes Greece 162-billion euros in war damages, explosive report claims," by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telgraph, in National Post, April 10, 2013, below)
Earlier today theacorncentreblog.com reported on a speech by George Soros in Germany in which the American tycoon predicted a recession by September, this year. The report originated with Bloomberg News, and was carried by the National Post.
Now, reports have emerged pointing to German reparations owed to Greece for both the First and Second World Wars, and their impact on Greece's attempt to rebuild.
If this reports does not "put the proverbial fox in the hen house," then nothing will.
Greece's financial status has been the subject of much turbulent negotiations and even some threats to the economy of the European Union. Greece has been significantly resistant to providing funds from her coffers to bail Greece out of her troubles.
Now, with this report's public "birthing" there will be even more intense negotiations to right the balance of Greece's debt, especially as it applies to one of Europe's more beleagured nations.
There will undoubtedly be, as the piece below points out, cries of "moral blackmail" on the part of Germany, at both the public disclosure of the document, and the "cheek" of the Greeks and their presumption.
However, the Greeks are not without an argument, whether the dollars claimed are reasonable or legitimate (only those who have studied the evidence can offer a reasonable and responsible view) and Germany will not be compelled to respond to the Greek claims.
So for the rest of the world, the past is never really buried, always has the potential to rear its head, both in international relations, and in more domestic relations. Once brutally assaulted, Greece is not about to take the terms of the financial bail-out and interest payments, mostly to private sources of bail-out funds, lying down, and silently going away, without putting up a fight.
This most recent disclosure, of the kind of behind-the-scenes scheeming that promises to enrage the Germany public and the German Bundestag, will be echoing through the corridors of power in both countries for years, possibly decades.
In the short run, the report's release could well spell the demise of either or both the Greek and the German governments.
And the whole world will be watching!


Don’t mention the war (debt): Germany owes Greece 162-billion euros in war damages, explosive report claims

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telgraph, in National Post, April 10, 2013  
The Greek government is in disarray after the leak of an explosive report drawing up reparations claims against Germany, covering both the First and Second World Wars.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras held a special meeting with top officials Tuesday to limit the diplomatic damage from the 80-page report.
The document – stamped “Aporito”, or secret – was drafted by a panel of experts for the Greek finance ministry and delivered last month.
The alleged claims against Germany reach a grand total of 162-billion euros ($214-billion), including 108-billion euros ($238-billion) for rebuilding the country after the Nazi occupation from 1941 to 1944. This is 80% of Greek GDP.
The panel was chaired by Panagiotis Karakousis, head of the General Accounting Office at the Finance Ministry, and relied on 190,000 pages of documents scattered in archives.
Mr Karakousis said that the report was commissioned by the current leadership.
“The purpose was to gather all the material available so that the political leaders can check the data,” he said.
The Greek foreign ministry said the report would be sent to the State Legal Service to assess and set the “claims of the Greek State”.

The report was first leaked to a Greek newspaper at the weekend in a story entitled “What Germany Owes Us”.
The panel concluded that Athens had legitimate grounds to press claims. “Greece never received any compensation, either for the loans it was forced to provide to Germany or for the damages it suffered during the war,” it said.
The newspaper said the issue has “detonated like a bomb” at a critical juncture when Greece is under intense pressure from creditors. “The government should publish all the findings and determine its position on this sensitive issue,” it said.
There has long been a vociferous lobby calling for war reparations from Germany, with the so-called “National Council” calling for as much as euros 500bn to cover stolen art work and the loss of 50pc of economic output over almost four years. Some 300,000 Greeks died under the Axis occupation, mostly from starvation.
But the new report is very different because it is an official document of the finance ministry. It is unclear, however, what Athens hopes to gain by stirring up a highly emotional issue.
The report is certain to be viewed by German officials as a form of moral blackmail as tough talks continue over each stage of Greece’s EU-IMF-ECB Troika programme. Sources in Greece say the document was prepared as a bargaining chip to be put away in a draw and used only in extremis.
The gambit raises serious questions about the true intentions of Mr Samaras, who has positioned himself as a friend of Angela Merkel, the German chancellor.
It again exposes the breakdown of trust in the eurozone after three years of depression in the south and mutual recriminations between creditors and debtors. It suggests that Greeks are not in fact reconciled to the policies being forced upon them.
The report includes a welter of different claims on Germany, including euros 54bn for the costs of forced loans from the bank of Greece to cover the wages of German troops and the Afrika Korps.
Greece has already enjoyed debt relief, though at the expense of private pension funds, insurers, and banks, rather than the German state.






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