Beware The Greeks?

Bloody Greeks . .

. . living beyond their means; sponging off everyone else. Lazy bastards got everything they deserve coming to them!

So runs the mainstream media around much of Europe but particularly in Germany where the hard working and fiscally frugal natives see Iron Chancellor Merkel’s handing over of ‘their’ hard-earned savings to the dissolute Greeks as nothing short of insanity – she is unlikely to win re-election as a result.

Has the mainstream media shaped your view of the pampered and spoilt Greeks as it had mine? If you are feeling less than sympathetic to that nation’s plight can I respectfully ask you to read on – you might be as shocked and appalled as I was when I learned the truth.

To those of you who ask what all this has to do with ‘Archers – living, loving and travelling Turkey’ I answer ‘They are our neighbours, they are in desperate straits and, if nothing else, they deserve our understanding.’

the Führer bailing  out his mate

In October 1940, His Arrogance Il Duce Benito Mussolini dragged Greece into WW2 by invasion of its territory. After six months of humiliation and certain defeat at the hands of the tiny Greek army supported by a rag-tag resistance movement Hitler bailed his Axis partner by invading the country in April 1941.

Greece was looted and devastated like no other under German occupation. The International Committee of the Red Cross estimated that between 1941 and 1943 at least 300,000 Greeks died of starvation as a direct result of German plundering. Even Il Duce was appalled when he complained to his foreign minister ‘The Germans have taken from the Greeks even their shoelaces’.

Germany and Italy, in addition to charging Greece outlandish ‘occupation expenses’, obtained by force an ‘occupation loan’ of $3.5 billion. Hitler himself recognised the legal nature of this loan and had given orders to start the process of repayment. After the war ended, at the Paris Conference of 1946, Greece was awarded $7.1 billion by way of war reparations in addition to the repayment of the ‘occupation loans’.

Italy repaid its share of the occupation loan; Italy and Bulgaria paid war reparations to Greece. Germany paid war reparations to Poland in 1956 and to former Yugoslavia in 1971. Greece demanded repayment of the occupation loan in 1945, 1946, 1947, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1987 and in 1995. Germany has consistently refused to pay its obligations to Greece arising from the occupation loan and war reparations. In 1964, German Chancellor Erhard promised repayment of the loan after reunification, which happened in 1990 – Greece is still waiting.

To give some idea of the scale of German obligations to Greece consider the following: using an interest rate linked to an average for US Treasury Bonds since 1944 of 6% it is estimated that the current value of the occupation loan is $163.8 billion and that for war reparations is $332 billion – that’s a combined total as of July 2011 of 575 billion euros that Germany owes to Greece!

It wasn’t just ‘even their shoelaces’ that was taken from the Greeks. During WW2 Greece lost 13% of its population, some from fighting but most from famine and war crimes. The Germans murdered the populations of 89 Greek villages and towns, burned to the ground 1,700 villages with many of their inhabitants executed; the country was reduced to rubble and its antiquities and treasures looted.

town of Distomo 10th June 1944 (hover for more details)

Next time you see or read of Merkel’s demands for more Greek belt tightening, more austerity, remember that if her government coughed up and met its obligations as it is legally required to do there wouldn’t be any sponging Greek wasters out on the streets. There wouldn’t be any more Greek suicide deaths to add to the war time total either.

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

ps if you were surprised to learn these facts, put yourself in the shoes of all those decent people in Germany who have also been kept in the dark. Politics is a dirty game. There is a petition by Greek academics to call on Germany to make good on its obligations.

19 thoughts on “Beware The Greeks?

  1. You know Alan, this post is just super! What a nasty, bloody scam they’re pulling on the world. Making the victim into the criminal is the capitalists’ usual stock and trade but this piece of duplicity is a beaut. Thanks for doing the research and giving us good ammo when we talk to others about the ‘lazy Greeks.’

    1. . . so often I wish I had the kind of mind that can absorb and retain facts and figures in order to redress misconceptions. So many folks seem to be pathetic sponges, soaking up misinformation/media lies/propaganda with unquestioning belief as their prejudices are fueled. Damn, now I sound like a pompous old know-it-all! Just get so bloody angry sometimes.

  2. Excellent post, Alan. Thank you. Anyone who is interested in this should read a wonderful book called ‘The House on Paradise Street’ by Sofka Zinovieff… see her website for more information.

  3. Many historians believe that the huge and crippling reparations demanded of Germany after the Great War was one of the major factors contributing to the rise of Nazism. We know where that got us. Ironic don’t you think?

    1. There is a lot of weight on this side of the argument, I would, however, suggest that the Wiemar Republic’s decision to start printing money which led to hyper-inflation and the total collapse of the economy played a bigger roll. When the US and other states moved off the gold standard they, like the Wiemar Rep. created a fiat currency (paper with little or nothing to back it up). The only thing sustaining the US dollar is its tie to oil, as that collapses as oil producers move to other currencies/gold the ‘fiat chickens’ will come home to roost and the US and its allies will move ever more rapidly down the road to fascism/totalitarianism. Some of us would argue that the US is already there; and don’t forget that the UK’s ‘Defense of the Realm’ regulations brought in for the Olympics are still in place and likely to remain so. Happy days!

  4. you my friend, you are a gem, thank you for this post.
    we all very well know that germany won’t pay this long-overdue obligations to greece, in this capitalist system that will not happen.
    love to both of you 🙂

    1. thanks JJ, you are too kind! For me, more than anything, it is the cynicism of the principle players towards the ordinary people who are being forced to ‘carry the can’ – again. Love to you guys, too.

  5. Fascinating post Alan, thanks for that, learn a lot from your posts, as always! I have some dear Greek friends, that I know so concerned about their kids’ education, whether they will have a book to read or not, heartbreaking.. As always, it is the public paying the price of politics..
    Good to be back home in England and catch up your posts : )

    1. . . thank you Özlem. It’s never the people who get what they want – in or out of the euro it isn’t their choice – austerity con-trick or not it isn’t their choice – war or peace it isn’t their choice. The system has to go – we need Participatory Democracy – real socialism as it was originally envisioned!

  6. Shocked but not shocked. And grateful for this post. And no capability for a witty response. Just sadness and acceptance of “yet another…”

    1. old Para mate of mine in Canada picked up on the ‘crime’ and I thought it well worth reposting! People do need reminding . .

  7. Alan, I missed this post when it came out and I am so glad you pointed it out to me. It is fascinating and deeply disturbing and information we should all know. I think my thoughts about the Italians in Greece have been limited to the charming Italian film “Mediterraneo” — I needed a wake up call. Thank you

    1. . . so many of us are/were in ignorance of this war crime and post-war crime – sometimes I really do despair of life!

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