I’m reacting to this hilarious piece: http://www.dw.de/greece-to-demand-wwii-reparations-from-germany/a-18306731 . First of all, 115 million deutschmarks were paid in 1960 – and it was a sum everybody agreed to, including Greece at that time. How much that makes today, it’s easy to find out (I won’t bother). Also, who calculated this new sum? Is it audited? Is it real? Is it correct? Is it generally accepted by others? But all these questions are irrelevant when you look at the bigger picture. That is, Greece is in deep shit over its debt (the current one, not WW2 debt), the people are understandably angry over having to stay in a low-cash state for a long time while the politicians play Ping-Pong with their future. So their leaders have a steaming pile of .. stuff … in their lap and have no idea what to do with it, but they promised the voters they’ll make it better. So they don’t want to pay up and are making every excuse imaginable to put pressure on others. This is going to get ugly, soon.
I’ve heard the Greek ministers resort to intimidation. A rumor, of course, I’d debunk if I spoke Greek, only I don’t so I can’t. Also apparently they caught the foreign affairs minister and a few days before the defense minister, threatening that if they fall (the government) they’ll let terrorists through their borders and into the heart of Europe. As a foreigner, I’d be worried. Sounds to me they’re out of cash. You don’t do what they do unless you’re either desperate or you think those threatened are pushovers (and Germany sure as hell isn’t, maybe France). There is a third part, though – they’re probably betting everybody else is just that dumb to believe it. You don’t (or, more likely, I won’t) threaten people and then ask them for money. Perhaps it’s them that’s dumb, thinking they can do it like Mafiosi – pay up if you know what’s good for you. We’re doing you a favor for asking you for money. Yea, sure. But about the WW2 reparations, that’s funny.
There was a gag similar to this situation among my co-workers, one was asking for a small loan for a few days and the other refused, saying the planes fly too low that day. What do you mean? What’s planes got to do with you giving me a loan? … asked the other fellow. Well, this buddy of mine said, any reason for refusing is good enough to me, if I don’t want to give you the loan.
If the Greek government is out of money and has no idea how to make things work taking into account the fact they were voted because they promised the end of austerity, they’ll screw things up. Badly. All in all, things look very bad, unless they say one thing to the media and mean another when in private. And that’s even worse. If they’re going for blaming Germany, what about Ireland then. They’re a lender too, and Irish economy is going up after years of hardship (precisely because of it)– I doubt they’d let Greece win with a bluff. I wouldn’t.