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Wonder what you think of these two links?

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/greeks-still-waiting-for-war-reparations-1.2135701

He also uncovered a 1969 West German foreign ministry memo warning of the "virulent covetousness of our current partners and former enemies" on the reparations.
To date, the document said, repayments had been postponed thanks to the 1953 London debt agreement and the efforts of the US government. The recommendation: Germany's "opponents in the last war" are to be "put off ad kalendas Graecas" - effectively to the day when pigs fly.
"It has to be in our interest to preserve this in-between situation for as long as possible in light of the outstanding peace treaty," the memo concludes, "to then put off repayments [citing] forfeiture through time limitations."
Fleischer says this is precisely what happened. The West German ambassador to Athens said in 1988 that the forced loan was frozen because of ongoing German division, while the Bonn foreign ministry in 1990 issued a 26-page memo to embassies filled with arguments as to why the claim had expired.

Also, this:

http://www.ardmediathek.de/tv/Kontraste/Griechenland-Deutschland-dr%C3%BCckt-sich-um/Das-Erste/Video ?documentId=27028052&bcastId=431796

Seems this is an argument which cannot be so handily dismissed.

by Upstate NY on Fri Mar 13th, 2015 at 07:48:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what argument?

By the way, this treats - like anybody did - reparations and forced loans as the same issue. So the theory tat they are separate is a rather recent invention.

"It has to be in our interest to preserve this in-between situation for as long as possible in light of the outstanding peace treaty," the memo concludes, "to then put off repayments [citing] forfeiture through time limitations."

I mean, what did you expect? That they agree to pay? The claims of e. g. France alone would have ruined west germany.

by IM on Fri Mar 13th, 2015 at 07:54:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean, what did you expect? That they agree to pay? The claims of e. g. France alone would have ruined west germany.

So why should Greece pay now? The claims of the Bundesbank alone are ruining it.

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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 14th, 2015 at 08:47:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
of the branch office?

Some people here should shed their Bundesbank obsession.

by IM on Sat Mar 14th, 2015 at 11:53:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When the Bundesbank stops filing amicus briefs in support of private German lawsuits against the ECB of which the Bundesbank is a part (properly, of the Eurosystem, but anyway...).

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 Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 05:52:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I could point there no such thing in the german legal system, but ok. Still ECB or eurosystem, there is no debt of Greece to the Bundesbank or any other national branch. Just  the ECB.
by IM on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 05:56:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe they were called as a witness for the plaintiffs. And it was in the ECJ, if not also before the BVG.

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 Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 06:01:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BVG runs the public transport in Berlin. BVerfG is the court that decides on constitutionality.
by Katrin on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 06:12:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And it was before the BVerfG.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 06:21:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
expert witnesses
by IM on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 06:32:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Arguing against the Eurosystem of which they are a part.

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 Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 06:47:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And BVerwG ist the highest administrative court. See? all very easy. Can't understand that anybody - like 80% of germans - would use a wrong abbreviation.  

back teh ECB and its german branch: important isn't babbling to the press or even to courts but monetary policy/ lender of last resort. And there is no national policy anymore there.

by IM on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 06:30:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously buying covered bonds but not sovereign bonds in the secondary market isn't a policy mix deliberately discriminating against some members and in favor of others.

Clearly the ECB is a purely supranational institution, and it is merely a coincidence that its decisions happen to consistently promote German interests and atavistic German hard-money neuroses.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 06:36:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously buying covered bonds but not sovereign bonds in the secondary market isn't a policy mix deliberately discriminating against some members and in favor of others.

You missed the big program starting right now?

Somehow your view of the ECB is stuck in 2009.

"Clearly the ECB is a purely supranational institution,"

Yes, indeed. Weidmann hasn't won a vote since 2011 or so.

by IM on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 06:44:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I haven't missed any big program.

The ECB bought on the order of 1 % of all outstanding covered bonds over the course of less than two years. The piddling little Johnny-come-lately Securities Market Program amounted to less than a third of a percent of outstanding Treasury issues at its best, and was rolled out over two and a half years.

Size really does matter, and the ECB has been consistently undersizing its sovereign bond interventions.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 07:18:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously buying covered bonds but not sovereign bonds in the secondary market isn't a policy mix deliberately discriminating against some members and in favor of others.
It's getting to the point where we should update your old dictum about bid-offer spreads to

"under German ideology public debt is toxic unless it's been sanitised by being repackaged by a Pfandbriefbank"

German rescue fund takes over Duesselhyp bank after Heta problems (Reuters, March 15, 2015)

The article, by the way, manages to avoid mentioning that preserving the sacrosanct risk-freeness of Pfandbriefe is the overarching policy objective here.

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 Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 06:46:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"The German banking association BdB, which runs the fund, is, however, not planning to wind down the bank, but wants to continue its operations."

That is not the ECB. It is not even a public institution.

by IM on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 06:59:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
important isn't babbling to the press or even to courts but monetary policy/ lender of last resort
I beg to disagree. The recent European Court of Justice's Advocate General opinion on OMT defining that secondary market purchases must allow "sufficient time for market price discovery" is an example of how recourse to the courts is extremely important and increasingly constrains monetary policy, as a direct consequence of German pressure.

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 Mon Mar 16th, 2015 at 05:22:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny when I first mentioned here that the ECb isn't totally with out checks, that there is the ECJ, you didn't wnated to accept that.

You are talking about the power of the ECJ here. Nothing to do with the Bundesbank.

by IM on Mon Mar 16th, 2015 at 10:03:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
when I first mentioned here that the ECb isn't totally with out checks, that there is the ECJ, you didn't wnated to accept that
Do you have a link? I don't remember that.

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 Mon Mar 16th, 2015 at 10:07:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by IM on Mon Mar 16th, 2015 at 01:08:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's just say that 3 and a half years later the principle it has been demosntrated that the court can be used to enforce a restrictive interpretation of the prohibition of monetary financing.

And I say restrictive because the letter of the treaty says nothing about secondary market purchases and yet it is becoming solidified in legal precedent that the prohibition of primary purchases must be extended to secondary purchases unless "sufficient time" elapses for "market price formation".

Hayek has won.

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 Mon Mar 16th, 2015 at 01:19:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As to
There is no substantial judicial review of ECB policy decisions.
observe:
The AG has interesting things to say on market speculation. The GCC, largely relying on the expertise of the Bundesbank, pushed a market fundamentalist line on the matter: whatever risk spreads may be, they reflect nothing but market fundamentals. Hence, the central bank should not mess with them as that would undermine market discipline, distort prices, provoke moral hazard, etc. The AG takes a candidly different view, on numerous occasions referring to market speculation as undermining economies and preventing fundamentals from asserting themselves. In such instances the ECB is justified to step in and correct destabilizing excesses and price distortions. The AG dodges the issue of how to determine "correct" market prices. The ECB should simply use its discretion. The AG goes out of its way to defend the ECB's independence (i.e., unchecked discretion), suggesting that no court should challenge its expertise or question its intentions:
_The ECB must accordingly be afforded a broad discretion for the purpose of framing and implementing the Union's monetary policy. The Courts, when reviewing the ECB's activity, must therefore avoid the risk of supplanting the Bank, by venturing into a highly technical terrain in which it is necessary to have an expertise and experience which, according to the Treaties, devolves solely upon the ECB. Therefore, the intensity of judicial review of the ECB's activity, its mandatory nature aside, must be characterised by a considerable degree of caution (AG 2015, No. 111).
It was of course always something of a curiosity that Germany, the world champion of central bank independence, should see its constitutional court challenge the ECB's independent judgment, and with the Bundesbank, the ECB's blueprint, as its "chief advisor" by its side. So much for the realities of today's intra-European power politics.
(Jörg Bibow, January 14, 2015)

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 Mon Mar 16th, 2015 at 01:24:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's jut say that was right about the power of the court.

Unrelated I was also right about the rapidly diminishing Bundesbank influence at the ECB.

by IM on Mon Mar 16th, 2015 at 01:58:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes you were.

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 Mon Mar 16th, 2015 at 03:26:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a rule for how to compose acronyms in German?

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 Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 06:41:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not that I know.

take BVG. actual name:

Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe

Now there is no "G" in there. I harkens back to the original name:

 Berliner Verkehrs-AktienGesellschaft

But even there they just dropped just the "A".

by IM on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 06:56:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, and there is not even a rule how to say (as opposed to write) them. "BVG" (Be Vau Ge) is used frequently in speaking, in discussions of rotting infrastructure or ticket prices, but never for constitutional matters. Don't try to say the acronym BVerfG, say "Karlsruhe". (A tourist in the Hamburg S-Bahn once asked me the way to station Aitch Bee Eff, and it took me a long while before I got where he wanted to go!) If you read on legal matters though, and decisions are quoted, the sources contain the "BVerfG".
by Katrin on Mon Mar 16th, 2015 at 05:00:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that the EC trains to Germany are run by DB-ÖBB (and not by Trenitalia that never cared what happened after the train left Italy), the announcements in Italian train stations try to announce the stops in Austria and Germany as well. So I now know that the train stops in something called Innsbruck acca-bi-effe.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Mar 16th, 2015 at 05:07:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not as funny or interesting as your examples, but I recently realised that I never heard the spoken version of "EBA" (for Eisenbahn-Bundesamt = Federal Rail Authority) despite reading it thousands of times. That is, "eba" (the way I read it in my mind) or "E-Be-A"? A German colleague confirmed that it's the first.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 16th, 2015 at 04:21:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"In 2012, the international criminal court in the Hague dismissed a challenge by a private Greek group, saying the principle of state immunity left them unable to sue Germany.

Though the court urged Greece and Germany to engage in talks to resolve the matter, Athens says Berlin isn't interested in talking."

God, is that sloppy reporting. "criminal court". And I should this take seriously why?

by IM on Fri Mar 13th, 2015 at 08:16:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So a confusion of the two Hague courts is the basis for your complete dismissal?... I guess you'll accuse ARD (which reported all the same points and more) of sloppy reporting, too? Earlier, you were pretty quick to diss around accusations of nationalism, but perhaps you should look into the mirror.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 14th, 2015 at 08:46:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that supposed to be some sort of argument? Who can't even see the difference between a criminal and a civil law court is hardly a good reporter.

Bit that is not the point. More important is that there is no new argument here. Of course they used the no peace treaty argument to avoid payments. That isn't new. And it has nothing to with Greece especially.

So if reparations can still be demanded, a dozen countries could join in. The case that Greece is somehow different has still not been made.    

by IM on Sat Mar 14th, 2015 at 11:55:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First, that was a blogger. He is not a journalist. But you seem to have disregarded the fact that he was quoting a German archivist who discovered documents in the German state archives. The important stuff was the actually document, not the blogger's interpretation.

Second, Germany isn't putting the thumbscrews to other EU nations. It is doing so to Greece. It is punishing Greece with intent. As Geithner has said, the whole strategy here is to punish Greece to discourage others.

Third, punishment as a form of discouragement is exactly what Greece suffered at the hands of Germany in the war, which is why the arguments are more than relevant in this case.

by Upstate NY on Sat Mar 14th, 2015 at 01:49:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/greeks-still-waiting-for-war-reparations-1.2135701

The Irish Times is only a blog now? Filed under news, too.

the document doesn't shows us anything new and more important, isn't greek-specific.

by IM on Sat Mar 14th, 2015 at 07:43:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought you were referring to the readinggreece.com link, not the Irish Times
by Upstate NY on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 02:49:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Third, punishment as a form of discouragement is exactly what Greece suffered at the hands of Germany in the war, which is why the arguments are more than relevant in this case."

And this argument isn't valid regarding Italy why?

by IM on Sat Mar 14th, 2015 at 07:51:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because Italy is not currently repeating its war crimes.

Also, Italy isn't owed nearly as much as Germany.

Manufacturing a barely acceptable excuse to shaft the German creditors, official and private, and nationalize the assets bought by German oligarchs during the forced privatizations, would go much further toward making the Greek books balanced again than doing the same to Italy.

And Germany has the same number of votes as Italy in those institutions where it matters.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 01:44:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because Italy is not currently repeating its war crimes.

You are simply nuts.

by IM on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 04:57:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

That's not the way how an argument is held at ET. Also to Jake: keep it civil. Your suggestion that Germany is currently engaged in "war crimes" is incendiary. To all: No more insulting claims which you can't back up.

by Bjinse on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 05:10:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy is not the country that wants to punish Greece to discourage the others.

In fact, I would argue that Italy is the country that is being discouraged.

I know Spain is very bad off with 26% unemployed, but Spain's finances are not so bad that it could not instantly rebound with proper policy.

Italy is a very different case. Half my family is Italian, I spent years living in Padova, and I am very worried.

by Upstate NY on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 02:51:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Italy is not the country that wants to punish Greece to discourage the others."

Italy is almost 18% of ESFS.

And the policy of the ESFS is in the end the policy of all.

by IM on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 04:56:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is, of course, in the German interest to pretend that this is so.

But whether it actually is so remains to be seen.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Mar 15th, 2015 at 05:01:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Earlier, you were pretty quick to diss around accusations of nationalism,

That was back then when you accused me of trolling, right?

by IM on Sat Mar 14th, 2015 at 12:00:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The response of the German Government to this whole issue of the essential justice of the claims of Germany and the counter claims of Greece, in the light of this history, is example A of the famous dictum: "When it is serious you have to lie"! or distract, or disinform, or evade, or attack the credibility of that being lied about, or all of the above, AS A MATTER OF HIGHEST PRIORITY. For most who engage in such denial, above all, it is important to deny that they are doing any such thing. After all, as Richard Nixon said: "That would be wrong!" It would clearly be a serious failing in one's character. Like racism in the US South.

It has long been my observation that the more any given person benefits from an obviously invidious and unequal relationship the longer it takes for them to even see the problem, much less admit the truth of it. However, at some point in the chain, we get to those who DO actually see what they are doing and yet still are convinced it is important to keep on denying. That is what is called 'leadership'.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 14th, 2015 at 07:36:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Upstate NY:
are to be "put off ad kalendas Graecas

The blue moons do rise
Black swans soar into the night
Unpredictable!


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Mar 14th, 2015 at 09:02:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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