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Students in Paris anger Schaeuble with uncomfortable questions about Greece

It was supposed to be a civilized conversation between German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and French students at the Sciences Po University in Paris. But youth apparently has no respect of self-righteous German officials and reminded him of possible policy mistakes in the Greek crisis. the atmosphere turned quickly from ‘civilized’ to ‘explosive’.

The first question posed by a French student was a punch in the stomach. He asked Schaeuble:  “What is your comments to the suicides in Greece, dating from the time austerity was launched in the country?” The question was received with applause by the university students from France, Germany, UK and Greece, reports German daily Handelsblatt.

The atmosphere “froze”.  It was perhaps Schaeuble’s past references to Greece’s large deficits before the crisis broke out and the fact that no private financier wanted to pay for it for longer time.

Another student asked Schaeuble: “Sure you’re right with your references to the financial situation, but haven’t you adopted a punitive rhetoric and played a Blame Game?”

The German Finance Minister refuted the accusations and told the French audience that “the problem with Greece existed before the crisis. ” Then he held an academic short lecture on “EU governance and rules and obligations and values” and other theoretically nice and practically  vague things.

“You will not find a statement neither by me nor by the Chancellor that blames Greece. We have made a lot of efforts to bring the Greek economy into operation. But nothing has worked.” [ooops! that’s an indirect accusation, not?] Varoufakis told me: Look ,Wolfgang, we are the only party that is not corrupt, at least not yet.”

He stressed that “Europe is not the problem but the solution”. He spoke calmly but he was boiling inside. He did not like at all that he had to find himself on the defendant’s bench.

“You should take care of your own country,” Schaeuble busted in anger and added that The German Constitutional Court had decided some years ago that we can not send refugees back to Greece because there they don’t comply with the minimum standards for humane treatment of immigrants“.  

Then Schaeuble ‘fired his last bullet’ at the students: “A disgrace for you!” he told them.

Among others he claimed also that “Germany saved Europe’s honor.” (full article in German here in Handelsblatt.de)

Yes, Greece and the migration issue was on the agenda on the unforgettable and constructive meeting between German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and the students of Sciences Po University in Paris.

sciendorp

Rumors that Schaeuble whispered “I hate you all” are just rumors and exist solely in the sphere of fantasy of average Greek people and students.

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11 comments

  1. Laurette LaLiberte

    Did he consider that perhaps Greece ‘… don’t comply with the minimum standards for humane treatment of immigrants“.’ because they’ve been overun and left to deal with the situation on their own due to the terms of Dublin II at a time when they can’t even meet these requirements for their own citizens BECAUSE of EU austerity policies?

    • keeptalkinggreece

      no he didn’t. and his reference was for the time long before the refugees influx. sorry, can’t remember exactly when the CC made this decision. It has NOTHING to do with the situation nowadays. But Schaeuble run out of arguments and he was very very angry.

  2. Are the French students so dumb as to think that economic policy can be based on suicide rates or purported links between economic policy and suicide rates.

    Your article is a bit of joke since you do not even make a pretense at objectivity and even claim to know the foreign minister’s thoughts and feelings.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      at least I know that he is not a foreign minister

      • 🙂

        It is of course also the case that there IS a serious correlation between economy and suicide rates, there is even a correlation between increased austerity (for the fun of it I might add, rather than out of necessity) and increased suicide rate. Elsevier’s “Social Science and Medicine” publication, Volume 112of July 2014 published this article
        The impact of fiscal austerity on suicide: On the empirics of a modern Greek tragedy

        Suicide rates in Greece (and other European countries) have been on a remarkable upward trend following the global recession of 2008 and the European sovereign debt crisis of 2009. However, recent investigations of the impact on Greek suicide rates from the 2008 financial crisis have restricted themselves to simple descriptive or correlation analyses. Controlling for various socio–economic effects, this study presents a statistically robust model to explain the influence on realised suicidality of the application of fiscal austerity measures and variations in macroeconomic performance over the period 1968–2011. The responsiveness of suicide to levels of fiscal austerity is established as a means of providing policy guidance on the extent of suicide behaviour associated with different fiscal austerity measures.

        Further more,

        Dr Carl Walker, a Brighton University psychologist and founder of the campaign group Psychologists Against Austerity, said Government cuts were affecting the mental wellbeing of people in deprived areas.

        “There is a tendency to understand mental health as solely a personal or public health issue, but these are political issues,” he said. “There is a clear link between, not just unemployment, but poor employment and underemployment, and suicide and a range of mental health problems.”

        (The independent, 19/02/2015)

        As these are only 2 exzamples of hundreds of reputable studies showing that there is indeed a very real link between economics and suicide rates, the the real question must of course be who is the dumbass here. The students, or he who questions their valid and correct thinking on this matter?

    • costa sakellariou

      this isn’t an ‘objective’ news gathering site – it is a blog with points of view. (there is no such thing as objective journalism anyway).

      your comment is a complete joke so get over it…

  3. question why did they allow greece to join the erm in the first place OH i forget they provided false informatiom

    • keeptalkinggreece

      wrong. they did it because GERMANY (chancellor Schroeder) wanted jobs creations through the sale of submarines to Greece.

    • The goats on the hillsides knew that those figures were false. If officials in Europe didn’t know then it’s a wonder they can find their own arses to wipe them.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      Was it Harry Potter as Greece joined in 1999 and faked numbers in 2002.

  4. They should have asked him: “Do you think it is right that taxpayers should bail out banks that made bad investments in Greece?” “Don’t you think that that is bad capitalism?”.