Teutonic Arrogance

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) – German politicians are reacting to the Greek government’s call for a partial remission of its debts and its throwing the EU-Troika out of the country, with ultimatums. “Tsipras had better cease his attacks on Angela Merkel,” threatened the European Parliament’s President Martin Schulz (SPD). “Beating up on the Germans” is “shortsighted.” State-financed German media organs are castigating Greece’s newly elected head of state as “obstinate” and complaining that he “is jeering,” “Germany is only one country among others.” US experts warn that in the EU’s crisis countries, the German austerity dictate has resulted in “a level of misery” “that surpasses the limits of tolerance for a democratic society,” and suggest that Greece be dealt with pragmatically – a partial debt remission along the lines of the London Debt Conference 1952/1953 model. Two years ago, Greece’s new Minister of Finance Giannis Varoufakis had already called on Germany to shift from an “authoritarian” to a “hegemonic policy” that would not use its economic power to hold the EU countries down, but to allow them to participate in the hegemonic benefits, as Washington had once done for the Federal Republic of Germany with its Marshall Plan. Varoufakis wrote explicitly, “Europe” does not need an “authoritarian” but “a hegemonic Germany.”

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Millions for Billions

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) – New allegations of corruption have been leveled at leading German arms manufacturers. According to a former employee of the Greek defense ministry and several mediators of the arms industry, German arms manufacturers paid millions in bribes to induce Athens to purchase German weaponry, worth several billion Euros. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall were among the companies named. These deals helped inflate the country’s debts and were, therefore, in part responsible for escalating the crisis. Others, such as Siemens, had also paid millions in bribes to land lucrative contracts from Athens. According to a Greek journalist, who has done extensive research on corruption in Greece, German companies are the “main beneficiaries” of Greece joining the Euro zone because they subsequently profited from highly lucrative Greek government contracts. The sumptuous contracts helped plunge Greece into crisis while they, at the same time, helped the German industry to blaze its trail to the predominant position in Europe. Continue reading