Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Overplaying Your Hand as a Victim

Greece is snarling at the Germans. The Germans are unhappy that they're being asked to bail out the Greeks financially in 2010. The Greeks are unhappy that the Germans conquered Greece in 1941. In 1960, West Germany paid war reparations to Greece for the Nazi occupation. Now it seems as though that wasn't enough for the Greeks.
ATHENS, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Greek opposition lawmakers said on Thursday that Germans should pay reparations for their World War Two occupation of Greece before criticising the country over its yawning fiscal deficits.

"How does Germany have the cheek to denounce us over our finances when it has still not paid compensation for Greece's war victims?" Margaritis Tzimas, of the main opposition New Democracy party, told parliament.

"There are still Greeks weeping for their lost brothers," the conservative lawmaker said during a debate on a bill to clean up the country's discredited statistical service.
There's a real risk here. 1941 was 69 years ago. Most Germans alive today were not alive back then. After blowing through all of their money and lying to everyone about their budget problems, it's probably not a good idea to be pointing fingers at the Germans and blaming them for things they had nothing to do with. While it might play well in Greece where some Greeks (a minority?) want to avoid responsibility and consequences, it probably doesn't play too well in Germany where they have the cash to prop up Greece.

How many of you were alive when this happened in 1941?

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