The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Greece wants Raparations for WWII

I first blogged about Greece and Debt in 2012 shortly when I started blogging.  I have blogged about Greece quite a bit, especially in the beginning because of the debt issues.  Greece was forced to institute "Austerity" measures to get the money from the EU and Germany is the economic powerhouse and they are calling most of the shots.  Now apparently Greece is asking for reparations from Germany for war damages from WWII.  I have severe issues with this.  Germany was decimated by WWII and they rebuilt themselves after the war.  Greece had the same opportunity and seemed to squandered their opportunity and now they are trying to get more stuff From Germany after the bailout.  Greece has promised more than they can deliver to their citizens and now they are passing the cup to Germany.   Now Greece is wanting even more money from Germany.  If I was the Germans, I would say "Nein".  "Dis hund nicht Jagt" or this dog don't hunt.   

I was reading this article, I have been harping on debt almost as soon as I started blogging.  The E.U thinks that they bailed out Greece, but they basically kicked the can down the road.  Greece will not implement the austerity measures, the politicians have promised soo much free stuff to the population, now the bill is coming due and the population are angry.  They still want all their "free stuff" that has been promised.  The same thing will come here in a few years when the democrat base want their free stuff and the spigot shuts off.
     Something that I noticed in this article is that the government will legislate to force the bondholders to eat the loss.  This disturbs me on several levels  The government will legislate you to lose your money to accept a political settlement?   What happened to the rule of contract law? What about the indenture terms?  The government by imperial fiat made a decree and removed the collective action clause.   What does this do for the bond market?  I guarantee private investors will dump bonds as soon as they are able.  People buy bonds for investments and as a way to save their money in a volatile market.  After this and the imperial edict, they will bail.

German artillery fires during the advance through Greece, 1941. Bundesarchiv
German artillery fires during the advance through Greece, 1941. Bundesarchiv

Left-wing politicians in Greece are pushing for Germany to pay reparations for the damages it caused during World War II. The parliamentary committee has called for a debate on the subject.
For its part, Germany has refused to entertain the notion that it owes anything to Greece. They have refused to pay and have refused to even negotiate with Greece.
But experts in Germany’s Parliament have released a report that undermines the German government position.
The Scientific Services of the Parliament released their findings which were commissioned by the Left Party. In part, the report states that the government is not violating international law by their position, but it is “by no means compulsory.” The report further recommends taking the case to the International Court of Justice to receive legal guidance in the matter.

When the Wehrmacht withdrew from Greece in October 1944 after three and a half years of occupation, it literally left behind “scorched land”: the economy, currency and infrastructure were completely destroyed.
When the Wehrmacht withdrew from Greece in October 1944 after three and a half years of occupation, it literally left behind “scorched land”: the economy, currency and infrastructure were completely destroyed.
The court at the Hague cannot on its own take up the case since the actions in question occurred over 70 years ago. The German government would need to agree to the process which it has explicitly rejected.
Back in June, the Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office was asked about the Greek demands and he stated that neither side wished to have the International Court of Justice settle the question.
The Left Party’s deputy, Heike Hansel, said that the report showed that the German government is no longer able to avoid their responsibility for the past actions of the country. He continued by stating that the German government had “completely failed on this issue.”
The government’s position is that all WWII issues were resolved in 1990 with the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany (also referred to as the Two Plus Four Agreement).
The treaty was signed by both East and West Germany. Those are the “Two” in the “Two Plus Four.” The “Four” who signed were the US, the USSR, France and the UK. It allowed for Germany to become a unified and fully sovereign country.
For its part, Germany accepted its current border with Poland and renounced the other claims it had made to territory.
Reparations were not included in the agreement and Greece was not a party in the negotiations for the treaty.
Germany points to the 1945 Potsdam Conference as resolving the question of reparations. The Soviet Union settled the reparation claims of its satellite countries in large part by supplying them with industrial equipment. For their part, the other Allied countries resolved to settle the reparation claims of other countries by dividing up German industrial and naval assets.

The big three.
                                         The big three at Potsdam
Germany also signed an agreement with twelve other nations in the 1950s. Greece was included in this agreement and received 115 million Deutsche marks in 1960 as the final settlement to its claims.
Germany has spent 76 billion euros to compensate for the crimes its Nazi leaders committed in WWII.
What remains to be seen is whether the new government in Greece which was elected on July 7 will continue to push Germany for the reparations.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was elected on July 7, is expected to make his first trip to Germany.
Poland is also demanding reparations from Germany. Between the two countries, $1.2 trillion in claims are being levied against the Germans.
Poland is expected to release a report on September 1 which coincides with the 80th anniversary of the start of WWII. The report is expected to demand $850 billion from the Germans.
Of course, all this posturing is mainly a way for politicians in the two countries to grab the attention of their voters. The current ruling party in Greece ran on a platform of getting justice from Germany and reducing the country’s debt. They have thus far achieved neither goal so they need to show the voters that they are still working on the issues.


  1. They've already squandered any good will left. Screw em...

  2. I love Greece...everything about it. The Germans are buying up Crete and soon will run the olive oil trade right out of Grecian hands. They really fubared their finances and it hurt the little guys. I don't think they have any solutions. They seem to be spinning their wheels. France was there to bargain as well as Spain when I was there, but I don't think anything came of it.


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