ATHENS/BERLIN | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) - German politicians are reacting to the Greek government's call for a partial remission of its debts and its throwing the EU-Troika out of the country, with ultimatums. "Tsipras had better cease his attacks on Angela Merkel," threatened the European Parliament's President Martin Schulz (SPD). "Beating up on the Germans" is "shortsighted." State-financed German media organs are castigating Greece's newly elected head of state as "obstinate" and complaining that he "is jeering," "Germany is only one country among others." US experts warn that in the EU's crisis countries, the German austerity dictate has resulted in "a level of misery" "that surpasses the limits of tolerance for a democratic society," and suggest that Greece be dealt with pragmatically - a partial debt remission along the lines of the London Debt Conference 1952/1953 model. Two years ago, Greece's new Minister of Finance Giannis Varoufakis had already called on Germany to shift from an "authoritarian" to a "hegemonic policy" that would not use its economic power to hold the EU countries down, but to allow them to participate in the hegemonic benefits, as Washington had once done for the Federal Republic of Germany with its Marshall Plan. Varoufakis wrote explicitly, "Europe" does not need an "authoritarian" but "a hegemonic Germany." more…

Domino Effect

BERLIN/THESSALONIKI | | griechenland

BERLIN/THESSALONIKI (Own report) - Berlin and the EU are massively violating Greece's sovereignty to secure their political domination over Southeastern Europe. As was revealed by documents from the Athens-based Troika, with two German functionaries in the leadership, the government in Athens has received instructions on how to bypass the Greek Parliament. To counteract the foreseeable consequences of this interference - which is provoking protests and strengthening the camp of the opposition parties - Berlin is handing out money to Greek journalists, religious representatives, and artists. This interference is targeting the Greek public to neutralize the growing demands for restitution of debts stemming from Nazi crimes. It is also aimed at undermining the lawsuit against the Federal Republic of Germany, filed by Thessaloniki's Jewish community. The German foreign ministry is in control of the payments to network the Greek "civil society" with the German elite. more…

ATHENS/BERLIN | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin is reacting to Athen's persistent demands for reparations for Nazi mass war crimes in Greece by sending the German President to visit the country. Last week, following a lengthy run-up, the Greek Parliament has created a committee to examine possible demands for reparations. It is said to involve a large multi-billion sum. Over the next few days, Joachim Gauck will visit various scenes of Nazi crimes. It is to be expected that he will use his usual warm rhetoric affirming Germany's strong convictions, to distract from a refusal to pay any reparations. Currently, Thessaloniki's Jewish community, among others, is suing Berlin for the reimbursement of an extorted "ransom" for 9,000 Jews, who had been deported to German extermination camps. There is also discussion of a demand for the restitution of the forced loan exacted by the Nazis, in 1942, which has never been refunded. An expertise compiled by the Reference and Research Services of the German Bundestag has arrived at the conclusion that these demands are legally founded, however, this document continues to be kept secret. more…

ATHENS/BERLIN | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) - New allegations of corruption have been leveled at leading German arms manufacturers. According to a former employee of the Greek defense ministry and several mediators of the arms industry, German arms manufacturers paid millions in bribes to induce Athens to purchase German weaponry, worth several billion Euros. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall were among the companies named. These deals helped inflate the country's debts and were, therefore, in part responsible for escalating the crisis. Others, such as Siemens, had also paid millions in bribes to land lucrative contracts from Athens. According to a Greek journalist, who has done extensive research on corruption in Greece, German companies are the "main beneficiaries" of Greece joining the Euro zone because they subsequently profited from highly lucrative Greek government contracts. The sumptuous contracts helped plunge Greece into crisis while they, at the same time, helped the German industry to blaze its trail to the predominant position in Europe. more…

BERLIN/ATHENS | | griechenland

BERLIN/ATHENS (Own report) - The reorganization of the Greece's health system, under German direction, is advancing. "A final timetable is to be presented in the second half of this year," declared the German Health Ministry (BMG). The German government sees deficits also in the lack of an "effective cost management," but most of all in the lack of "competitive elements." In a "Memorandum of Understanding" (MoU), the BMG and the Task Force for Greece (TFGR) have reached an agreement with the Greek government on the introduction of the highly criticized German-modeled so-called case flat-rates. The criticisms stem from the fact that patients are not being treated in response to their medical needs but on the basis of economic efficiency. The massive consequences the austerity measures are having on the public health in Greece are becoming more evident. A growing number of Greek citizens are losing their health insurance, due to unemployment and therefore must pay medical costs themselves. The shortage of medical aid, for example, has caused an increase of 40 percent in the child mortality rate since 2009. Diseases such as malaria or AIDS are spreading more rapidly. The German government continues to insist on its austerity course in spite of these ramifications. more…

ATHENS/BERLIN | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) - The German austerity dictate is driving Greece - even after the most recent financial "bail-out" operations - deeper into the economic and social abyss. Economically, the country is still in a "free fall," according to the German Institute for Economic Research. Citibank experts are expecting the Greek economy to shrink by 7.4 percent next year and 11.8 percent in 2014, because the austerity policy being imposed by Berlin allows no margin of maneuver for measures fostering growth. The unemployment rate will rise to 40 percent during the same period, predict the economists. Social collapse is accompanying the escalation of the crisis, leading to not only a doubling of the suicide rate since 2010, but also to hostility toward Athens' political elite and the EU, under German domination, as well as to rapidly spreading xenophobic violence. Recently the UN High Commission for Refugees reported that from January - September, at least 87 migrants had been victims of brutal attacks - including murders. At the same time, neo-Nazi organizations are growing stronger than ever before - and are heating up rumors of a putsch. more…

ATHENS/BERLIN | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) - Amid mass protests, the German Chancellor visited Athens, Tuesday, to promote new opportunities for German companies. The privatization of state enterprises and infrastructure must be accelerated, was the demand in Berlin even preceding Merkel's visit. The Chancellor remembers all too well how the German Democratic Republic's enterprises were liquidated, and therefore knows how to pluck out a country's industrial filets to sell them off to profit-seeking investors. Interested Germans such as those in the Chancellor's delegation will be in a privileged position, through the creation of "special economic zones" in Greece, which has been Berlin's long time demand. A spokesperson for the German government recently commented on the effects of the German austerity dictate, which has led to the impoverishment of the population, saying "we have succeeded in reducing the unit labor costs by double-digit percentage points." Foreign policy experts in the German capital attribute yesterday's mass protests to "misunderstandings" and recommend that Berlin undertake targeted PR measures, to impede future resistance to German policies of domination. They allege that the Greek population is "badly informed," but has a right to "comprehensible press releases" for more in depth explanations of the German austerity policy. more…

ATHENS/BERLIN | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) - In the run-up to new elections in Greece, the German elite is discussing various scenarios involving the use of force to ensure control over Athens, including the establishment of a protectorate or the deployment of "protection forces" in that southern European country. The German austerity dictate, pushing Greece into destitution, is provoking growing popular resistance, which, apparently, can no longer be suppressed with democratic means. Berlin has failed in its efforts to force Athens into subordination by threatening to withdraw the Euro, as much as with its demand that Greece combines its parliamentary elections with a referendum on the question of remaining in the Euro zone. Berlin categorically rejects the option of retracting the austerity dictate and replacing it with stimulus programs, as is being demanded by leading economists world wide, even though the exclusion of Greece form the Euro zone threatens to push the currency, itself, into an abyss. more…

ATHENS/BERLIN | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) - With yesterday's parliamentary elections, Greece, which is already shattered by the German austerity dictates, is entering a new phase of instability. Predictions confirm that the country's two largest parties, which until now have imposed the austerity dictates against massive popular protests, have suffered great losses. The conservative Nea Dimokratia will probably receive only about 20 percent and the social democratic Pasok hardly more than 14 percent of the votes. In Athens, even before the elections, it was being forecast that it would be impossible to create a stable government with a small majority, and that within a few months, new elections would have to be held, which would jeopardize EU and IMF financial aid. This would mean that, to obtain promises of dubious financial assistance, Greece, which has been forced to downsize its economy into an abyss, will be faced with utter ruin. The social situation is desolate. The number of unemployed, as well as of those dependent on food allocations has dramatically grown, just as the number of suicides. German enterprises, whose profitable business in Greece has contributed to the development of Athens' debt crisis, are now seeking to exploit the crisis for lucrative business opportunities. The dramatic aggravation of the situation is also flanked by a rise of the extreme right. more…

BERLIN/MADRID/ATHENS | | griechenland

BERLIN/MADRID/ATHENS (Own report) - The German austerity dictate is leading to new economic and social turbulence in the indebted counties of the southern Euro-zone. Spain, compelled in late March to make financial cutbacks totaling 27 billion Euros, must extend its austerity program to a total of 37 billion Euros. An increasing number of debtors cannot repay their credits on time. With their backlog of 143,8 billion Euros, the country's banks, in fact, can only refinance themselves through the European Central Bank. Italy is also slipping into the downward spin of cutbacks, growing unemployment, decreasing purchasing power and increasing social spending and, like Greece a few years ago, must already readjust its savings goals. Greece has been fully drawn into this development. Last year, 68,000 enterprises went bankrupt - the volume of incoming orders has dramatically shrunk. A high number of bankruptcies is also expected this year. This offers German enterprises good opportunities for acquiring the fillet morsels of state enterprises at rock-bottom prices. more…