Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Germany, The Biggest Debt Transgressor of The 20th Century

You 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. He warns the country should take a more chaste approach in the euro crisis or it could face renewed demands for World War II reparations. 
Germany is coming across like a know-it-all in the debate over aid for Greece. Berlin is intransigent and is demanding obedience from Athens. Is this attitude justified? No, there is no basis for it.
A German economist bravely points out that Germany is in the position to be the creditor nation of Europe today because it never paid any of its debts in the 20th century, including the war reparations it owed countries like Greece.
During the 20th century, Germany was responsible for what were the biggest national bankruptcies in recent history. It is only thanks to the United States, which sacrificed vast amounts of money after both World War I and World War II, that Germany is financially stable today and holds the status of Europe's headmaster. That fact, unfortunately, often seems to be forgotten...

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