ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) – Amid mass protests, the German Chancellor visited Athens, Tuesday, to promote new opportunities for German companies. The privatization of state enterprises and infrastructure must be accelerated, was the demand in Berlin even preceding Merkel’s visit. The Chancellor remembers all too well how the German Democratic Republic’s enterprises were liquidated, and therefore knows how to pluck out a country’s industrial filets to sell them off to profit-seeking investors. Interested Germans such as those in the Chancellor’s delegation will be in a privileged position, through the creation of “special economic zones” in Greece, which has been Berlin’s long time demand. A spokesperson for the German government recently commented on the effects of the German austerity dictate, which has led to the impoverishment of the population, saying “we have succeeded in reducing the unit labor costs by double-digit percentage points.” Foreign policy experts in the German capital attribute yesterday’s mass protests to “misunderstandings” and recommend that Berlin undertake targeted PR measures, to impede future resistance to German policies of domination. They allege that the Greek population is “badly informed,” but has a right to “comprehensible press releases” for more in depth explanations of the German austerity policy.
Special Economic Zone, Greece
Interested Germans such as those in the Chancellor’s delegation, will be in a privileged position, through the creation of “special economic zones” in Greece, which has been Berlin’s long time demand. (german-foreign-policy.com reported. According to current planning, enterprises in these special economic zones are to receive tax breaks – possibly down to zero percent – subventions are also considered. It has yet to be decided, whether the zones will be determined geographically or by economic branches. The Minister for Development, who is in charge, had conferred with Chancellor Merkel yesterday. German business is making even more extensive demands. As Hans Peter Keitel, President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) recently demanded, the special economic zones should not just be limited to particular sectors of the Greek economy, but should include the entire country in “a sort of special economic zone within the Euro zone.” The administration of “the special economic zone, Greece” would be the function “of foreign EU personnel.”.
The protests against the German Chancellor were not solely the result of anger over Berlin’s austerity dictate, but had also been provoked by a series of other German provocations. Already when the crisis began escalating, in early 2010, the German media insulted the Greek population with chauvinist phraseology, coined by an ethnicist publicist, who had served as “state’s witness” against Greece during the Nazi period. Similar chauvinist insults in the German mass media (“penniless Greeks”) followed German demands that the country be transformed into an EU protectorate. Most recently, the press has alleged that “on the streets of Athens, Merkel’s austerity policy” may possibly only be “imposed by force of arms.” In a commentary of a renowned German daily, the veiled warning was issued, “hopefully an international protection force, such as is stationed in the teetering countries further to the north, will not become an option.” (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) These provocations not only help to explain why, according to the most recent opinion polls, four-fifths of the Greek population have a negative opinion of Germany, but also the intensity of yesterday’s protests, for which a state of emergency had to be imposed for the Greek capital to be contained – an exceptional situation for a German politician’s visit abroad.
Full article: Only Misunderstandings (German Foreign Policy)