Germans are Greeks’ scapegoats, Greeks are looking for scapegoats for their own mistakes, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told CBS News in an interview that will broadcast on April 8th 2012. Further he said, it might be good if the snap polls were postpone. And trying to calm down Greeks speaking of “contemporary German occupation of Greece”, Schaeuble assured the debt-ridden people “It doesn’t mean we want to dominate anybody”.
Ufff! Good to know….
Wolfgang Schaeuble: We are Greece’s Scapegoat
The ill will many Greeks feel toward Germany for imposing painful financial conditions on the massive loans the country made to them are just a normal response to a difficult situation, says German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. It’s natural for people suffering from their own mistakes to blame others, Schaeuble tells Steve Kroft for a story explaining Europe’s debt crisis – a scenario that could worsen and affect the U.S. economic recovery. Kroft’s report will be broadcast on 60 Minutes Sunday, April 8 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Of all the members of the European Union, Greece was hit the hardest by the recession because it was half a trillion dollars in debt and has only 11 million people. The EU agreed to bail out Greece, with the largest checks coming from its strongest member, Germany. In return for the loans, Greeks would have to abide by a financial austerity program that included laying off 150,000 public workers, salary reductions of 20 percent, higher taxes and lower government spending. It’s understandable that Greeks were upset with Germany says Schaeuble. “When you have countries or people who have been living beyond their means, and now they have to apply some austerity, they have to make cuts, they have to reform their labor market…people tend to push the blame to others,” Schaeuble says. “They are looking for scapegoats. It’s perfectly normal,” he tells Kroft.
To make matters worse, Greeks still remember the German occupation of their country in World War II and have made protest posters featuring Swastikas that allude to German domination. The posters sometimes have German leaders on them, even Schaeuble. “That’s part of politics,” says the finance minister, who tells Kroft he is just trying to do his job and Germany doesn’t want to dominate anyone. He too, remembers World War II. “It doesn’t mean we want to dominate anybody. Germany tried to do so in the past and it never worked, but it no longer wants to do so today.”
But to Greeks, it’s more than tough medicine when an outside entity suggests interfering with their government. At one point, Schaeuble thought it might be a good idea to postpone elections so a new government wouldn’t vote down the austerity conditions. (Full article Here)