German Professor To Spiegel: “If Greek Mood Turns, Issue of Old WWII Reparations Could be Raised”



German Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics Albrecht Ritschl gave an interview to German Spiegel explaining why the Greek debt is not the biggest financial tragedy experienced in Europe, and emphasizing that the anti-Hellenic policies of the German media are quite dangerous to Germany.

“Germany was the biggest debt transgressor of the 20th century becoming insolvent three times at least in the past century” pointed out the LSE professor, adding that Greece’s debt is only a serious matter because of its contamination potential.

The Greek people are well aware of the antagonistic behavior of the German media towards their debt-ridden country. “If the mood in the country turns, old claims for reparations could be raised, from other European nations as well. And if Germany ever had to honor them, we would all be taken the cleaners” Ritschl told the German weekly.

Greece is facing today the same situation Germany had faced after both WWI and WWII, continues Ritschl in his interview. Germany seems to have a short collective memory and have forgotten that their current thriving economy and stability is mostly based on US financial help after WWII and a halt of reparations.

According to Ritschl, Germany also defaulted in 1953, after the then Chancellor Helmut Kohl had refused to implement the London Agreement on German External Debts, which provided that “in case of reunification the German reparations from WWII would be newly regulated”.

Greece had received some small amounts of reparations but the overall money owed to the Mediterranean country from WWII is estimated at about $95 billion, which could easily write off its current debt.