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Berlin to Obama & Tsipras “Forget the debt relief!”

Despite the excitement over US President Barack Obama in Greece and his message of support for Debt Relief, just hours before he lands in Berlin, Germans remain cool and even underestimate the influence of the outgoing President.

“What is the weight of Obama’s words in Washington and Europe?” German state broadcaster ZDF wondered.

Arch-conservative and populist BILD which is also the mouthpiece of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble knew to report today that

“Obama’s visit in Athens did not bring anything to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in terms of debt relie.”


“Obama should not even bother to speak about this issue with Cahncellor Angela Merkel.”

A “confidant of the Chancellor” allegedly told BILD that “Mr Obama doesn’t need to bother, debt relief is out of question and so it will be! What Tsipras and some US diplomats disseminate is the usual propaganda of Athens. If we respond to this request given the situation today, the country will be again at the end in three years because nothing has changed in essential sectors,” the “source” said.

The daily adds that while in Germany, “Obama will make a last attempt to convince Berlin about the debt relief so that the EU will write off the money of German taxpayers.”

However, Berlin had already rejected Obama’s request, the Bild stresses.

Barack Obama is leaving Athens for Berlin at 3:30 pm on Wednesday. He will meet Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday and a day later President Hollande, Prime Ministers Renzi, Rajoy and May.

PS I have the suspicion that Schaeuble was hiding under the chair of the BILD source…

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  1. Even to think about debt relief is a joke. Does anybody believe that after all this machination, treason, extortion and God knows what else the 4th Reich has put to conquer Greece, they will ever consider it? And is anybody so equally naive to believe that the US is not part of the same game?

  2. …”underestimate the influence of the outgoing President.”… ???

    How can you underestimate 0? That is why they call outgoing presidents “lame ducks”.

  3. I have pondered long and hard about why Berlin is so adamantly against debt relief. It is not just the IMF that says recovery will never occur without debt relief. Numerous respected economists say the same.

    “EU will write off the money of German taxpayers” says a lot about what the goal of Berlin happens to be. First of all, the original bailout was primarily to protect German and French banks from the consequences of their risky investments in Greek securities. If those banks failed due to a Greek default, the German and French governments would have to have bailed out those banks, thus, in the case of Germany, putting the burden on German taxpayers. So, Bailout One moved a fair part of the liabilities of German banks onto the backs of all the EU taxpayers, along with the world’s taxpayers, via the IMF. But that took time. And over that time, more and more of German liability has been shifted to non-German taxpayers with subsequent loans to Greece. Soon, German banks can be fully out from under the liability of their investments in Greece. The German taxpayers will no longer face the potential of paying for the investments of the German private sector, and much of the original public sector. Thus, the time is approaching when a Greek default will have little or no political repercussions in Germany.

    Thus, for political reasons, Berlin has no desire to entertain debt relief, but would rather let the debt burden remain until it causes Greece to default and be the object of blame by Germany for such default. The German taxpayer will still bear some of the burden for the resulting default, probably more than it would in debt relief, but Berlin has so successfully shifted the burden from Germany that it will be politically tolerable to the German people and economically safe.

    My basic point is that Germany has no desire for Greece to become a viable member of the EU. They just don’t have the political or moral courage to say so and accept the consequences. And, stringing out the slow death of Greece’s economy is being done at no cost so far, as we are paying interest to all those parties who loaned us money to pay off the original lenders, who are also being paid interest on the loans that we saved from default by the bailout.

    Sadly, Papandreou chose the “honorable” path and didn’t default. And SYRIZA asked Greeks to vote “OXI” when it should have been “va funculo”

    • Dear AI F
      Your analysis I think is correct and accurate. Equally, anybody with any intelligence above that of a 12 year old can see and understand what happened. The country’s problem is that its leading elites do not think like Greeks. Somehow they do not consider themselves to be Greeks and they have no hesitation to commit any treason in favour of the highest bidder – Germany in this case. Germans are in the process of creating the 4th Reich; Greece is the first properly occupied by them country, governed by loyal Quislings. They will not abandon their occupation plan, unless an all-sweeping revolt clears the treacherous vermin of Greece and kicks them out at all costs. Should this not happen, Greece as a state entity will not last any more than 5-10 years.

    • My understanding is that the problem lies primarily with German mentality, and their Protestant conceptualisation of debt. Debt is a “shame” and nobody should engage in it, nobody should be forgiven it, and certainly nobody has the right to demand to be forgiven it. It has nothing to do with economics, and everything to do with a culture that remains in the late Middle Ages.
      It follows from this that German political elites are not capable of guiding the eurozone — let alone the EU economy — and need to recuse themselves. It is irrelevant that Germany controls large surpluses through its export successes: they are the wrong people to run Europe.

      • xenos

        Well, I do agree that the German word for debt (schuld) means both debt and guilt. However, your hypothesis flies in the face of the almost reckless borrowing that German shipping companies did in epic amounts to be the largest container ship country in the world, nearly bringing down several banks back around 2010.

        There are, IMHO, a variety of German cultural factors behind the bizarre attitude of people like Schauble. Yes, schuld is one, particularly when that schuld is held by German lenders against non-Germans. Second is the type of cultural mores that up until 2000 saw bribery a valid and legal cost of doing business, AS LONG AS it was not bribes inside Germany, itself, or in competition with another German firm. Third is the kind of cultural mores behind the VW emissions scandal and the DeutchesBank mortgage frauds.

        Additionally, older Germans have an aversion to granting exceptions to rules, no matter how absurd it may be to do so in specific circumstances. (“I was only following orders”). Of course, after holding Greece’s feet to the fire over EU “rules”, Frau Merkel had no compunction about throwing the Dublin Protocol out the window when she opened her borders to refugees, totally disregarding the sovereignty of the several nations across whose territory these refugees had to cross.

        There is, to me, great merit in Varoufakis’ statement, “Banks rather than tanks”. Whether or not Schauble and Co wish to “conquer”, they are more than happy to use German force to profit from, subdue and/or punish other nations, without regard to the impact on the populace.

        • Yes, to most of that. In defence of my hypothesis, not everyone in Germany is Protestant, and not everyone is loaded down with medieval guilt. But there are enough in the electorate with this mentality to permit the wheelchair crook and his croneys to behave in this way — even if you are correct that their objective is to conquer Greek assets by means other than military ones.

          • There is no doubt in my mind dear Guest that this debt ethic is in the German mindset. However, the conqueror’s instinct is miles stronger. If debt is shame, why did they accept their huge debt relief in 1953? If debt is shame, why don’t they pay their debt to Greece for stealing (borrowing) its money in 1942? No, only debt supposedly owed to them is “shame” for the others. The Aryan race can owe to anybody; this is “pride” instead. This nation is a predatory, corruption-bearing nation (I remember an older article in KTG claiming this), which should be contained and kept forever under a leash. Those who do not understand or forget this can now suffer the consequences for the third time in the last 100 years.

          • Iannis

            You are probably correct that there is a double standard at play.