Saturday 10 December 2016

Treatment of Greece shows we've learned nothing from past

Published 02/07/2015 | 02:30

A banner flies from a balcony of the Finance Ministry in Athens, Greece
A banner flies from a balcony of the Finance Ministry in Athens, Greece

How quickly the lessons of history are discarded. The European powers have forgotten how in 1919 in the wake of World War I, Germany was humiliated and beggared by the crippling terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

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The conditions of this treaty resulted in hardship, loss of sovereignty and social cohesion within Germany, sowing the seeds for the rise of the Nazi party.

In the aftermath of World War II, the lessons had been learned, but at the cost of 65 million lives, and the subsequent Marshall plan was very favourable towards the German nation, with direct aid and debt forgiveness designed to reconstitute the country's economy. A similar benign policy could have been offered to Greece by parking chunks of their ludicrous debt, with future repayments based on a percentage of Greek export profits, generated as the economy recovered. Instead the right-wing European institutions and political elite seem to want to hasten the utter destruction of the Greek nation, which in time they may come to regret. Europe needs a strong healthy Greece. It is a strategically important nation, acting as a bulwark between Europe and the encroaching borders of the 'caliphate' which Islamic State fanatics are bent on expanding, not to mention the growing risk of pushing Greece into the arms of bellicose Russia.

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