2011-06-22

Den oföretagsamme greken

I dessa tider av grekiska drama och krokodiltårar over den ”korrupte” greken som lever sus och dus på lånade pengar kan denna Spiegel artikel var intressant.

'Germany Was Biggest Debt Transgressor of 20th Century'
Think Greece's current economic malaise is the worst ever experienced in Europe? Think again. Germany, economic historian Albrecht Ritschl argues in a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview, has been the worst debtor nation of the past century.

Ritschl: From 1924 to 1929, the Weimar Republic lived on credit and even borrowed the money it needed for its World War I reparations payments from America. This credit pyramid collapsed during the economic crisis of 1931. The money was gone, the damage to the United States enormous, the effect on the global economy devastating.

America immediately took steps to ensure there wouldn't be a repeat of high reparations demands made on Germany. With only a few exceptions, all such demands were put on the backburner until Germany's future reunification. For Germany, that was a life-saving gesture, and it was the actual financial basis of the Wirtschaftswunder, or economic miracle (that began in the 1950s). But it also meant that the victims of the German occupation in Europe also had to forgo reparations, including the Greeks.

Ritschl: Measured in each case against the economic performance of the USA, the German debt default in the 1930s alone was as significant as the costs of the 2008 financial crisis. Compared to that default, today's Greek payment problems are actually insignificant.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: If there was a list of the worst global bankruptcies in history, where would Germany rank?

Ritschl: Germany is king when it comes to debt. Calculated based on the amount of losses compared to economic performance, Germany was the biggest debt transgressor of the 20th century.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Looking at history, what would be the best solution for Greece -- and for Germany?

Ritschl: The German bankruptcies in the last century show that the sensible thing to do now would be to have a real reduction of the debt. …For Germany, this could be expensive, but we will have to pay either way. At least Greece would then have the chance to start over.

De oföretagsamma grekerna vet inte hur en slipsten ska dras, klart de inte ska ha skuldavskrivning. Denna slappa slöa latinska ”maniana” attityd! hur många världskrig har Grekerna startat? Jag bara frågar, hur många folkslag har de försökt utrota? Hur många länder har de ödelagt med sin krigsmaskin? Just det, den grekiska slappheten och slöheten är påtaglig, det mest våldamma de kan komma på är att slå söder porslin när de ska ha lite småkul. Se på den flitige och företagsamme tysken, han sätter hela världen i brand lite då och då.

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