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This has been an issue that has made international news repeatedly over the decades.
by Upstate NY on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 02:36:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
like the Loch Ness monster.
by IM on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 03:05:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Germany would have avoided it altogether by simply paying the loan.
by Upstate NY on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 03:23:23 PM EST
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No, not at all. Because this would have reopened all other WW II claims. The other countries would never have accepted the "Greece is special!" claim.
by IM on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 03:35:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What other countries have pressed a war loan issue?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 03:50:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know. But until recently I didn't knew about the lingering greek claim either. And "pressing" is an wild exaggeration.
by IM on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 03:53:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I tried to find sources on war loan issues with other occupied countries, but found absolutely nothing: it doesn't seem like any other countries brought that up. In contrast, I found additional details on the Greek forced loan issue before Syriza times. The first, in an interview with a historian from March 2013, is on the Red-Green period (and I also quote the part where the historian distinguishes the loan issue from reparations):

Historiker über Wehrmachtsmassaker: ,,Deutsche müssen Zeichen setzen" - taz.deHistorians on the Wehrmacht massacre: "Germans should make an example" - taz.de
[...] Dabei gab und gibt es Möglichkeiten für Entschädigungen, ohne dass die Deutschen ihre Position, keine Reparationen zu zahlen, aufgeben müssen. Etwa die Zwangsanleihe bei der griechischen Zentralbank [...] Schröder und Fischer signalisierten vor 1998 an Athen, sie wären ,,offen" für einen Kompromiss. Als Rot-Grün regierte, lehnte man Verhandlungen kategorisch ab. Der griechische Vertreter sagte mir damals: ,,Als wären wir gegen eine Glaswand geprallt."[...] Yet, there have been and are opportunities for compensation which wouldn't require the Germans to give up their position that they won't pay reparations. For example, the forced loan from the Central Bank of Greece [...] Before 1998, Schröder and Fischer signalled towards Athens that they are open for a compromise. Once Red-Green had came to govern, it rejected talks categorically. The Greek representative told me at the time: "It wads as if we hit a glass wall."

In December 2013, a study about the Greek loan issue was prepared for the German parliament. While the document basically details that none of the legal particulars are as clear-cut as the federal government claims (for example, the forced loans may have been legal under international law at the time and any statute of limitations would probably apply from 1990), it avoids definite claims for the most part, and the interesting part is only at the end: it explains that for Greece to make a legal claim before the ICJ, its own courts or the courts of a third country, it would need Germany's consent. For a 'hostile' lawsuit (that is, without the talks sought in Schröder's time), only German courts would be available.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 06:47:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"it explains that for Greece to make a legal claim before the ICJ, its own courts or the courts of a third country, it would need Germany's consent. For a 'hostile' lawsuit (that is, without the talks sought in Schröder's time), only German courts would be available. "

Yes, it is prettey clear the the ICJ has no jurisdiction, the Claim being to old. And in greek Courts there is state immunity (recently confirmed by the (ICJ)).

That leaves the german courts...

And then the german side could try to use the letter of the treaty: It is a no interest loan.

by IM on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 07:21:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Essentially, you are saying Germany avoids its debts because they are way too big.
by Upstate NY on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 04:50:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not debt. Nothing so solid exists. We are talking about potential reparation claim of an unknown size, surely unnumbered. And yes they are in all probability much to big. And always were.

What you are claiming is that Greece is special. Why Greece and not e. g. Serbia?

by IM on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 04:56:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why not Serbia? Seems to me that Serbia could make a couple of excellent cases for reparations against Germany.

Wouldn't even have to go all the way back to the War, if you accept that Serbia is the primary successor state to Yugoslavia.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 05:22:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to me that Serbia could make a couple of excellent cases for reparations against Germany.

Yes, that is my point.

"Wouldn't even have to go all the way back to the War, if you accept that Serbia is the primary successor state to Yugoslavia."

We will talk about this as soon as Serbia has paid Croatia.

by IM on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 05:48:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Serbia isn't currently inflicting austerity on anyone.

Germany is.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 06:03:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
?

Ans o Serbia hasn't any riht zto rteparationd? the grecce isa special argumnts get more and more absurd.

by IM on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 06:21:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We will talk about this as soon as Serbia has paid Croatia.
Serbia isn't currently inflicting austerity on anyone.

I don't see any possible way this exchange could be confusing.

Greece is not special, but Germany is. Germany should be reminded of all the reparations it is in arrears for its war crimes right back to fucking Bismarck, because Germany is not meeting the central social justification for giving legal closure: That it enables the perpetrator to go back to being a productive member of society.

Germany is staging the latest in a long string of abusive hissy fits that threaten to tear Europe apart. Bringing up the long string of abusive hissy fits is therefore perfectly appropriate.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Mar 18th, 2015 at 01:49:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
" because Germany is not meeting the central social justification for giving legal closure: "

namely following yur policy preferences of the moment to the letter.

Silly.

And calling the Holocaust hissy fit - now that is special.

by IM on Wed Mar 18th, 2015 at 01:59:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By imposing policies on a sovereign country that flat up murder on the order of two hundred people per week.

If Merkel sent the Bundeswehr to Athens to shoot two hundred random Greeks on the Syntagma square every Saturday, she would be doing less damage than current policy.

Pretty sure having the Bundeswehr murder random foreigners for no reason is a crime that foreign governments could demand reparations over.

But apparently having the Bundesbank murder random foreigners for no reason is totally honky-dory.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Mar 18th, 2015 at 02:07:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Normally, 'hunky dory' would be the appropriate description, however, in this case 'honky-dory' does seem a significant improvement!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 18th, 2015 at 11:13:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about we don't bring up the Balkan wars when there is no immediate need to do so? We are arguing in circles already, if we just add the Balkan wars, Mohammed caricatures and Pussy riot we'll be able to compete with a pressurized water reactor in heat output.

For what its worth, the only real merit in bringing up ww2 I see was as an illustration that yes, debts are renegotiated all the time. Since there is no real prospect of getting money out of it right now, pressing the forced loan issue at this point won't help.

Overall I must admit that I misread the general dynamic. No cans have been kicked, the Euro side is going for broke.

by generic on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 07:29:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 08:24:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Greek government's strategy to talk to the decision-makers of the institutions rather than the technical experts only achieved that those decision-makers made clear that the technical experts do their bidding.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 18th, 2015 at 03:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But we knew this and I can only assume they knew it too. So what happens now?
by generic on Wed Mar 18th, 2015 at 06:17:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Read below however.

WHen the technocrats reject humanitarian laws, the decision makers take cover, as Moscovici has by disavowing the rejection.

No doubt they will come at the Greeks in other ways, but this electoral promise cannot be openly rejected in public now.

by Upstate NY on Wed Mar 18th, 2015 at 09:23:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that's a fair way of putting it. Anything wrong with the principle? ;)
by Katrin on Tue Mar 17th, 2015 at 04:58:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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