“Greeks made all possible mistakes, but Germany was the one who benefited the most out of them”
Last week I gave an interview to Deutsche Welle, the leading German newswire since several decades, one of the most important and serious media in Europe. To be more precise, to the Romanian Service of Deutsche Welle and the their well known correspondent Laurentiu Diaconu-Colintineanu.
Deutsche Welle is represented in Romania by www.hotnews.ro, the leading Romanian news site and every Friday you can listen to their show "Bucuresti Punkt Bonn" (Bucharest.Bonn). A preview by this show was uploaded to the site last Friday, being taken care of by Sorana Mihailescu. It included my interview together with
the one of the known journalist Dan Popa. To read the article, click here.
(Below you will find some of the key sentences I stated during my interview. Whenever it was necessary, the oral speech was slightly modified so as to suit its written version).
"The Greek investor, Ilias Papageorgiadis, declared that the country is in a difficult situation and many mistakes were done. "The ones who could stop us over the last 30 years, were simply negotiating with our governments how we should spend our money"
- The fight between Greece and Germany is not something very serious. All this was mainly generated by the press. We have people from both sides talking more than they should. The Germans simply target to political support. They want to show to their voters that Germany protects their interests.
- There are also voices who propose to the Greeks to sell our islands, or Acropolis, in order to receive loans, but these are just exaggerations.
- We need to decide about some things: We are in European Union and in Eurozone. At the time when we joined, we have been told that we must be all together, so as to benefit from the advantages of European Union. When a country is doing well and it has the purchase power to buy the products and the services of others in the Union, everything is all right. But if by any case one country gets stuck and can not continue this consumption, then the country "must solve these problems by itself". What kind of Union is this? In good times, we are together. In tough times, everyone is only for himself.
- Germany was the country which "benefited" the most from the mistakes Greeks have done. For example, the consumption. Indeed Greeks spent billions in wrong consumption, but they bought German cars, German tractors and they invested their money in business which connect to Germany. Germans have won billions from Greek spending.
- During the Olympic Games, Greece was forced by the international media, the ones who now accuse the country for the bad economic situation, to buy extremely expensive software and other services in order to prevent terrorist attacks. All these cost billions and a big part of the money went to Germany. (I didn't state it in my interview, but one of the biggest scandals for which Siemens is accused is the supply of a system which never worked, at the price of over 1 billion euro)
- It is like we go and have lunch eating together. I am the stupid who pays and you benefit, I order the best food, open champagnes, consume without thinking. When the bill comes, I tell you that I don't have all the money and I ask you to borrow me a part of the amount, as a loan with interest, which I will pay you back. You reply to me that you enjoyed your meal but you don't want to pay. I don't think that this is fair.
- We should also keep in mind that the World economy is more connected than we think it is. Part of the 300 billion euro Greek debt is owed to German banks, which will lose tremendous amounts of money if Greece defaults. And German banks nowadays are not so strong as they seem to be, especially comparing to the past.
- Greece made all the possible mistakes, this is a reality that no serious analyst denies. But where were all these allies of ours to stop us throughout the last 30 years? The only thing they cared about was to negotiate with our country, in order to obtain more contracts, new orders etc. We pay huge amounts of billions of euro every year to weapons. So, we have a constant "war" between Germany, France, USA and other countries for who will sell to us the biggest quantity of "defensive – offensive equipment"
- Overall: Greece made terrible mistakes and has to pay for all of them. But right now it is safer for European Union to enforce strict measures in the country, making sure that the situation will enter into control again, than to let Greece enter into bigger trouble. Just keep in mind that Greece today is just the first chapter of a book, where Portugal, Spain, Ireland and maybe Italy are the protagonists of the next chapters. If we don't solve the problems and close this book once and for good, the "readers" will not stop to Greece and the whole Eurozone will enter into major trouble.
N.R. The interview was done by Laurentiu Diaconu-Colintineanu, Radio Deutsche Welle
The opinion of the journalist Dan Popa:
- It is normal to be discreet about a possible support plan for Greece because we are talking about the finances of a state about whose collapse has staked a lot.
- The countries from the euro areas kept this attitude not to stir waves of speculation and to go below the euro against the dollar, this would imply a pressure on all European economies.
- Greece problems have occurred with the adoption of Greece to the European currency, the country has joined the select club that is called Euroland, but did not come dressed in tails, but in a torn suit with patches.
- Greek officials have repeatedly lied to the European Union, have masked their deficits and they have hidden debts.
- You can lie once, twice, but her pitcher doesn't go often to water, and here during the crisis – when they count the money each state – Greece, saw that there is not too much to count.
- Regarding the support to Greece, now is the time to make big arrangements behind the scenes, but the European countries will not have another choice but we will have to help Athens.
- There are 2 types of Romanian's effects: direct and indirect.
- Direct involvements comes from the bilateral Romanian -Greek commerce which are companies with Greek capital, Greek banks have been active in Romania and everybody looks at them with concern, including BNR, but so far seem they seem to be ok.
- Bilateral direct commerce it is now half.
- Indirect effects come from the financial support plan which Germany, France could provide.