June 22, 2015

The EU's disgraceful treatment of Greece

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 95 comments ·

Whatever happens on Monday, Greece the country will survive this crisis – and the Greeks know it. The same can’t be said of the euro project – and we know it.

Could it be the case that in order to save the euro, the European elite destroys the EU? What is happening – and we are deeply involved – is quite shocking.

Last Thursday, by telling the world that he and others are preparing for a Greek exit from the euro, Michael Noonan – for some reason the most vocal finance minister on this issue – made certain that the Greek banks would experience a massive run on Friday.

Why is the rest of Europe trying to destroy the Greek banking system, which has already been made fragile by successive pro-European governments borrowing hand over fist and hoping to use the subsequent IOUs as collateral for the Greek banking system?

Why are we jumping on the bandwagon set in motion by the German media which relentlessly pursues the line that feckless lazy Greeks are only looking for debt forgiveness to make legitimate their idleness?

Are we so craven in our willingness to do someone else’s bidding that we forget historical facts?

I can understand that the German politicians looked their people in the eye and told them we will get all your money back from Greece, but why is Ireland faithfully being Germany’s greatest cheerleader?

Have we forgotten about Germany’s own history as the greatest European beneficiary of debt forgiveness? Or do our guys simply not know?

German memory – and that of its Irish supplicants – is very selective. There is no mention of the 1953 London Debt Agreement in their debates on Greece.

Why doesn’t someone remind Germany that in 1948 the introduction of the Deutsche Mark (backstopped by American capital) wiped out most of Germany’s domestic debt?

Or what about the fact that in 1953 half of Germany’s external debts, including their interest payments, were wiped out at the behest of a bankrupt Britain?

And furthermore, are we not aware that the Americans insisted the remaining debt payments could be spread out over a term of three decades?

Why doesn’t someone remind the Germans – and those in Ireland who want to be the best boys in the Teutonic class – that in the 1950s Germany’s debt was less than 20 per cent of their GDP, while much of the rest of western Europe in the 1950s struggled with debts of about 200 per cent of GDP?

How else do you think Germany could have rebuilt itself?

Albrecht Ritschl, an economic historian at the London School of Economics, estimated that the total debt forgiveness West Germany received from 1947 to 1953 was more than 280 per cent of Germany’s 1950 GDP.

This compares to 100 per cent of GDP that Greece has been pledged in aid since 2010. So the frugal Germans – who destroyed Europe, in case you had forgotten – got almost three times more debt forgiveness than the Greeks, who didn’t kill anyone!

Why doesn’t someone also point out that a clause in the London Agreement of 1953, which wiped out half of Germany’s debts determined that West Germany should only pay for the debts out of its trade surplus? This is exactly what the Greeks have put on the table, but they are rebuked by the likes of Christine Lagarde for not being credible.

Do our Department of Finance legates (who are playing a sleeveen role in this shameful piece of political theatre) not know that Germany’s debt repayment was limited in any one year to 3 per cent of West Germany’s export revenues?

What did this mean?

It meant that Germany’s creditors had to buy West German exports in order to be paid. Therefore, Germany did not have to resort to the Ponzi scheme of issuing new debt to pay for old debt.

Imagine if Greece asked that a certain percentage of Germans were obliged for the next ten years to take their holiday in Greece in order to give Greece the hard currency to pay back German banks?

It sounds strange, but that’s exactly the type of deal that Germany was given after World War II.

These are the overlooked facts. They have been replaced by the usual stereotypes that the Greeks – and by extension Italians, Spanish, Portuguese – are lazy Mediterraneans who want a German lifestyle but aren’t prepared to work for it.

We are witnessing a pathetic and shameful reinvention of history going on. Tomorrow there will be a Versailles Treaty-style conference, where the rest of Europe will dictate terms to the Greeks. By talking about the Greek exit from the euro on Thursday, the mainstream of Europe, who are supposed to do everything to make the euro an irrevocable system, have enfeebled the Greeks by forcing a bank run.

The Greeks are on their knees now – all the better to bully.

If the ECB turns off the taps, the banks in Athens will fold. Rather than protect the Greek banking system, the European Union has done everything in its power to crush it.

The Greeks are not innocent in this drama, but the crucial aspect to understand is that Syriza is the consequence not the cause of the crisis. The crisis was caused by German banks (and others) lending money to successive corrupt Greek governments.

None of these governments were ever described as radical when they were being feted in Berlin and Brussels, yet they were radically reckless.

Now the government that is charged with trying to sort everything out is labelled radical! How does that make you feel?

History is on the side of the Greeks. Whatever happens, Greece will survive, but if the euro system is based on selective interpretations of economic history, what hope has it in the next crisis?

  1. michaelcoughlan


  2. blackcase

    Thank you!! Brilliantly analysed and expressed. And I read German news and I know what is going on over there. Schauble’s behaviour is simplistic, arrogant and disgraceful. Noonan is a jerk! An embarrassment to Ireland. Your points align perfectly with my own analysis of what is going on (that is not a coincidence). But my anger would disable me from expressing it so coherently. Well done and thanks

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      IF you think that’s worst of Schauble’s behaviour, listen to the reaction of the neo-Nazi CSU crowd when he first talks about Polish western borders and then about their Heimat left behind in what is now western Poland (maybe Poles made a mistake that they did not kill the Germans after WWII, like the Germans killed 6 million Poles after the invasion,, but had barely driven them out and allowed to stay those who weren’t members of NSDAP (hence we have 300,000 German minority in Poland, which, unlike Polish minority in Germany, we generously subsidize):


    • Deco

      Noonan seems to have rediscovered his inner Noonan, which he had been repressing since the McCole Saga blew up in his face.

      No compassion.
      No diplomacy.
      No problem solving ability.
      No assistance to the cleanest Greek government in years, from the MoF who presides over the SiteServ debacle, and FG’s main donor being a beneficiary.
      No clue.


      NOONAN is an idiot.

      The Nasdaq is highly overvalued – Microsoft and Apple are the only large companies listed that is actually making a profit to justify the Wall Street hype.

      If it starts to wobble, and then descends (realistic predictions given the composition and the number of stretched PE elements), the Noonan will have made a jack ass of himself.

      Facts :
      The D4 banks are still not fixed.
      The Institutional state is overleveraged and oversized.
      The state is also over-committed.
      A few people are doing well from the “recovery” making a short buck, with Dublin turned once again into a Ponzi scheme. Further inland everybody lives with a predicament everyday that convinces them that it is BS.
      Las Vegas on the Liffey is doing great, and is making some very stupid bets again. Will the PAYE taxpayer be shoved with the bill again.
      Nobody who created the mess, has been asked to rethink their existing mental models.

      Nicholas Nassim Taleb would have a field day if he was observing what is going on in Dublin currently.

      And now we have Noonan pretending that Ireland is as stable as Germany, and can start dishing out recommendations to the Greeks.

      Noonan, is loading up with pride, before a massive fall.

      • Deco

        And as David pointed out a few weeks in an article that still seems to have been thoroughly beyond the comprehension of the clowns in Kildare Street, Ireland is walking itself into a productity-debt trap, with cycles of illusion and crisis, and productivity deficits.

        Noonan is now even trying to figure out ways of encouraging women back into the workforce for the sake of the bankers, and the property speculators.

        Noonan is Barking-mad.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          “Noonan is now even trying to figure out ways of encouraging women back into the workforce for the sake of the bankers, and the property speculators.”

          Actually this requires my comment. Tánaiste Joan Burton has been transitioning single mothers on One-Parent Family Payment to other payments. She said that about 6,000 of those 10,000 single mothers who will experience an income loss will have an immediate incentive to increase in number of hours they work to 19 and would render them better off.

          Well, work incentives are fantastic, except that only someone who never had her own company or job other than a cushty job of DIT lecturer or a politician would not know that the nature of being a lone parent is that you work like 2-3 hours a day for 5 days (most of these kind of jobs are 2 hours), unless you can pay someone to leave your child with for the whole day.
          From now on Irish (or non-Irish) single mothers will not be able to do so. I know of one such single mother who will be forced out of employment from now on.
          So basically the Tánaiste will restructure single mothers from being on One-Parent Family Payment and paying USC and income tax to being fully on the dole.

          If I am foreign and can predict this for free without being paid astronomical amounts of money for that and she has tons of people and cannot predict this than maybe I should be a Tánaiste and not her (first thing I would do I would press TD’s to enable Irish citizens living abroad to be allowed to vote like Poles living abroad can – incidentally, Poles living abroad do not vote on corrupted governments which forced them to live abroad).

          At the same time she reduced the so called income disregard from €140 a week to €90 per week. I would like to witness the thought process of someone who comes up with a scheme which results in forcing single mothers from being partly on the dole to being fully on the dole while depriving them of dignity you have when you are working in the afternoon rather than watching “Emmerdale” where people talk in squeaky voices.

          Mrs. Thatcher defeated Argentina. Mrs. Byrton defeated Irish single mother who want to work. Eagles do not breed doves.

          • coldblow


            I don’t agree with a system that encourages single mothers to have children although some might be single mothers through no fault of their own (eg widowed). There is no incentive for married couples with children, especially where the mother chooses to stay at home with the children. With the introduction of tax individuation a few years ago (which did not seem to attract much comment in the media) a big incentive (in terms of the size of the tax-free allowance) was given to houses where both parents went to work. In the past the husband would have a double allowance if his wife stayed out of work, exactly twice that of a single employee. In the light of this, and of policy and official rhetoric in general, I would be surprised if the government sought to penalize single mothers (perhaps single fathers but not mothers) unless they could really avoid it, so money must be getting very tight.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej


            Interesting comment.
            Some things ( “In the past the husband would have a double allowance if his wife stayed out of work, exactly twice that of a single employee.”) I did not know.

            “I don’t agree with a system that encourages single mothers to have children although some might be single mothers through no fault of their own (eg widowed).”

            I think we are on the same side.
            I share your views on the value of traditional family, as does Louise Bayliss of the Spark Parents action, a single parents group, who said and I quote:

            “The Children’s Rights Alliance gave huge support to gay and lesbian parents. Rightly so. But why aren’t we getting any support? This actually affects a lot more children”.

            But I was not talking about encouraging single parenting, I was talking about those mothers who are single and had been working, but now they are forced to go fully on the dole and sit at home.

            You are wrong this affects mainly widows.
            It affects those who single mothers with children whose fathers fucked off to other countries, they did not give their address and they enforce get maintenance payments off them, mainly because Ireland has a third world family law system and if you do not know where the father of the child lives, you can even mortgage your house and hire a detective or go and f..k yourself (unlike the UK, where it can be done through a sheriff).

            In some cases those children cannot even get their passports because some retarded judges, paid €200,000 (I wrote “some”, not all) are completely unaware of the EU law and do not know that in certain circumstances they can and should override father’s consent.

            I was dealing with one such case of a girl born in the US, but no longer entitled to US passport, whose father could not be contacted for 5 years,

            This usually ends up in Strasbourg, where Ireland loses and the ignorance of the EU law (which Ireland signed) on the side of some Irish judges (one even said “there is something dodgy about it” and dismissed it when presented with the case) end up costing the Irish taxpayer millions (but it does not cost any of them judges on €200,000 who erred on the side of law, 6 such cases I personally know of).

            Warm greetings for a fellow conservative

          • coldblow


            I take your point and it isn’t black and white of course. Perhaps it can be compared to the situation of those who bought houses during the bubble: they were encouraged to do so, many are blameless or only slightly so, others have more to answer for, etc.

            Louise Bayliss makes a good point, one which Peter Hitchens makes and which I repeated here a few weeks ago: the recent referendum was a marginal side issue (albeit one with huge symbolic significance for the liberal agenda) in an age where marriage has become officially meaningless and an institution with more cons than pros. (A colleague of mine has this sayhing: ‘Don’t get a job, don’t buy a house and don’t get f—ing married.’)

            The judge’s ignorance of European law (otherwise known as ‘law’) supports the point made by a speaker in the documentary This Sceptic Isle, which I mentioned a few days ago, which is that Parliament should spend half the week discussing EU legislation. In Britain they don’t discuss it at all and I suspect no other country does either, except possibly Germany (though I’m guessing).

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej


            It’s not black and white, you are right. Of course what I did not mention in my article is that there is lots of cheating going on in single mothers payments system – people getting payments, council houses and being on privileged rules regarding dole and work.
            But it’s not the fault of those single mothers who married and fathers of their children f…d of to Australia or the UK and abandoned their kids.
            This description of a Third World family law system was perhaps a bit harsh, but it does not come from me – it comes from the correspondence with the Scottish authorities whereby a mother has maintenance, but the address of the father living in Scotland is unknown. The mother even has a British tax number of the guy, all she needs is the Irish court to initiate the procedure, but it’s too complicated for some of the judges. As far as they are concerned, they order to pay maintenance and the rest is up to the mother – for example she can hire the veterans of the war in Chechenya and find the guy, can she not? In Poland for example you cannot just f..k off when you have the order because you changed your address.

            This description of a Third World family law system was perhaps a bit harsh (most parts of Irish family law are excellent), but it does not come from me – it comes from the correspondence with the Scottish authorities whereby a mother has maintenance, but the address of the father living in Scotland is unknown and yet a retarded judge – I would love to give his name, but you know, libel laws in Ireland – refused to override the consent of the father in a passport case.

            With people buying homes on a desert for half a million at the peak I’d say although it’s both banks and them to blame, but more them.
            Why would you buy a shitty build house for 500,000 that looked like it won’t last a decade in the middle of nowhere when you could buy a lovely house in a lovely village France for 1/3 of that?
            Should stupidity be rewarded?

      • Reality Check

        +1, Brilliant Deco, just Brilliant.
        My two cents; Noonan and FG are worse than Da Bert and FF.Unforgivable.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        “The Nasdaq is highly overvalued.
        If it starts to wobble, and then descends (realistic predictions given the composition and the number of stretched PE elements), the Noonan will have made a jack ass of himself.”

        President “Change” Obama had two choices: reform the banks or inflate them and stock markets. He chose to inflate banks and stock assets.
        The biggest jack asses will be, I am afraid, those who believe the hype like cattle and buy properties in Dublin now, when they will be hit with FED interest rates rising by a factor of two, three, four – you name it – following by the interest rates hikes in ECB along with sudden increase in empty homes supply following the wave of repossessions which Ireland has been spared so far.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      This is about decent Germans who support Greek claims:

      And that one I urge every reader of this blog to watch because it shows how tolerant and liberal Germany is really. This is a short video about the General Inspector of SS, Gruppenführer Heinrich Reinefarth, who order tortures and executions of Polish 60,000 civilians, mainly woman and children, during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.
      He was arrested for war crimes, but the local court in Hamburg released him shortly afterwards – West Germany ruled that genocide was not in the criminal code of Nazi Germany and therefore, would not be applied retroactively (“Paragraph §220a (genocide) of Germany’s Strafgesetzbuch”). Reinefarth went on to live a normal life similar to other war criminals and Holocaust perpetrators living in West Germany including SS-Obersturmführer Strippel from Majdanek concentration camp and Oberscharführer Fiedler from Che?mno extermination camp. In December 1951, he was ELECTED MAYOR of the town of Westerland (sic!!!!), the main town on the island of Sylt.
      In 1962, he was ELECTED to the PARLIAMENT (Landtag) of Schleswig-Holstein. After his term ended in 1967, he worked as a respected lawyer. Despite numerous demands by Poland, he was never considered guilty.


      • DB4545


        It begs the question if Polish authorities were aware of this and saw no realistic prospect of them being handed over to Poland by West Germany why weren’t they “taken out” in a similar fashion to the way Israel “took care” of those responsible for the holocaust?


        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          You cannot be serious. Israel is a sovereign country which enjoys privileged relations with the US (some political analysts even use the term “tail wagging the dog”) which has intelligence which was given free hand to do whatever they fancy and which has nuclear weapons (illegally, hence Obama ended a career of a journalist who asked him about it).
          Their excellent (some say the most efficient in the world – certainly more efficient than easy-to-penetrate CIA, as Snowden’s case shows) intelligence, Mossad (also operating in Ireland), was and is sovereign.

          The Soviet special services had begun training Polish officers as early as 1943. That year, some 120 Poles had begun training at an NKVD school in Kuybyshev (now Samara).
          General Wojciech Jaruzelski, for example, was trained by the Soviets in Soviet Union and they helped to accelerate his career.

          Polish intelligence after WWII was created and was totally controlled by the Soviets and in reality the Soviets never gave a flying fuck about atrocities unless it was in their political interest (Nurnberg Trials).

          Until 1956 the Defense Minister of Poland was Soviet.
          As the supreme commander of the communist Polish Army, he introduced the labour battalions of the army, to which all able-bodied men found socially or politically insecure or guilty of having their families abroad were drafted. It is estimated that roughly 200,000 men were forced to work in these labour camps in hazardous conditions, often in quarries, coal mines, and uranium mines, and 1,000 died in their first days of “labour”, while tens of thousands became crippled.

          Other groups targeted by these repressive measures were former soldiers of the pre-war Polish Army as well as the wartime underground Home Army (such as my grandfather).

          Overall, in the years 1944–1956 around 300,000 Polish citizens had been arrested, of whom many thousands were sentenced to long-term imprisonment. There were 6,000 death sentences pronounced, the majority of them carried out “in the majesty of the law”. A special disciplinary legislation had been introduced, which allowed for the sentencing of civil persons before military tribunals including young people and children.

          In the June 1956 Poznan protests against local working conditions and living standards, as well as the Soviet occupation of Poland, Rokossovsky approved an order to send in military units.

          As a result of this over 10,000 soldiers and 360 tanks crushed the protesters, and at least 74 civilians were killed.

          Bear in mind that the Soviets forced Poland to withdraw from the Marshall Plan.

          After all, the WWII would not have happened had Soviets not helped the Germans to (illegally) train and build their army.

          Remember that Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe entered Poland on Soviet petrol.

          I do not want to go into intricacies of it all, but even after 1989 it’s hard to say that Polish intelligence was fully sovereign (by the time all those murderers had died wealthy).
          When Poland had its first really sovereign government of Jan Olszewski and Polish MP, who was in the underground in 1980s and arrested for printing illegal libertarian literature, originated the vetting resolution on 28 May 1992, which obliged the Minister of Internal Affairs to disclose the names of all politicians who had been communist secret police agents, Olszewski’s government was overthrown by the opposition and the President Lech Walesa.

          The coup d’eat of 4 June 1992, a big date in Poland, went unnoticed and unreported in western media.
          In CCTV video and photographs from the night changeover (I have made a presentation on in Ireland) a representative of the Russian intelligence is heard and visible.

          The Military Information Services, were liquidated only in 2006 and replaced by Prime Minister Kaczynski by two independent military intelligence services, the Military Counter-intelligence Service and the Military Intelligence Service.

          Then the Smolenski crash followed:


          The military intelligence in Poland is to an extent infiltrated by the Russian intelligence (this may change with the election of the pro-American Andrzej Duda) while the civil intelligence is largely penetrated by BND, the German intelligence, which controls most of Polish politics due to gen. Czeslaw Kiszczak letting in Stasi to freely operate in Poland during Martial Law (along KGB) for reasons known only to him.
          Bear in mind that in 1980s there was already a cooperation between STASI and BND.

          Even now Poland is not trying to extradite genocide criminals or is refused to get them extradited (in rare cases when it tries).

          Take case of Stefan Michnik (Adam Michnik’s brother):


          or Helena Wolinska:


          Until Thatcher’s government even the British police would arrest you if you tried to publicize it (they were arresting some ex-soldiers who tried to put posters commemorating the Soviet Katyn massacre).

          Does this answer you question?

          • DB4545


            It does.I was playing devil’s advocate but I had had no idea as to the extent of the repression. I had read about the Katyn massacres and the liquidation of the Polish officer class. Given the Stasi control of East Germany and influence in the Eastern Bloc it’s not surprising. They had enough of their own war criminals hiding in East Germany so it wouldn’t have been politically expedient to look for their extradition from the West.It’s amazing how Herr Merkel was able to travel so freely given that most Ossis couldn’t travel within 5 kms of the border zone but that’s a discussion for another day.


        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          To give a very simplified account, the timeline of the Polish People Republic can be divided into:

          1. 1944-1956. Direct Soviet control, terror comparable with Nazi terror in occupied Greece (though less severe than Nazi terror in occupied Poland). 100,000 people murdered.
          2. 1956-1970. A thaw, nationalist communist Gomulka in power. People released from prisons. Liberalization of censorship for 2-3 years. Polish cultural live opens to Western culture.
          After 2-3 years the authorities get harsh again, but opening to Western culture stays, except for the economic literature.
          Gomulka, even though he was primitive communist, tried to run a bit independent politics.
          3. 1970-1980. Gierek opens Polish economy to the West a bit. He borrows money for what are botched investments (French use his naivety).
          Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola enter Poland end divide Polish market. The militia drive Honda’s. The socialist administration has it reasonably good, they are allowed to travel to the West for a short time.
          4. 1980-1989. The military stages coup d’etat in response to Solidarnosc. At the same time the West imposes embargo and high interest rates.
          5. 1988. Adam Michnik invited to Moscow and told the Soviets will not intervene if Solidarnosc takes power. The commis are forced to organize Round Table talks in 1989. They make sure they get privileged position, but they introduce the most liberal law regarding small private firms apart from Hong-Kong. Only 3 areas of economic activity require getting license. But there is hyperinflation.
          6. 1989. IMF comes to Poland. Taxes increase. Almost all Polish exports go on paying foreign debts. Pro German government with Donald Tusk.
          7. 1991. Debt reduction, not as generous as 1953 German. Poland has a sovereign government of Jan Olszewski. Janusz Korwin-Mikke MP proposes vetting procedure for commi and foreign agents as MPs and in intelligence.
          8. 4 June 1992. Russians along with commis agents stage coup d’etat.
          The rest is a long and complicated history.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej


          I am attaching a few links that may interest you.
          First may or may not partly answer your question about
          Angela Merkel:


          This has to be red with an article of Donald Tusk’s links with Merkel:


          I would reverse the allegation and ask how come someone with a baggage that Merkel had was able to start running sovereign politics which represent German interest (and partly clash with Irish or Polish interest) while a person like Michael Noonan without such bothersome burden, whose family is not threatened and who can freely go (with open borders) and speak freely, how come Merkel is able to be a sovereign politician and Mr. Noonan is not? And he thought swapping his savings in euros for gold was good for him, why was it not good for Ireland?

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          And finally, how difficult is to run sovereign politics for a country which is located between two major geopolitical players (it’s interesting that this comes out from a Western source only now – in Poland this has been discussed since 2010 – but even more interesting the source is someone from BND, now when Germany do not play in the same team as Russia all of a sudden and they desperately try to keep Poland in their zone, with subtle signals like transit restrictions 3-4 days after the election of the pro-American president…):
          And this probably beats the famous “fuck the EU” (did you hear that, Mr. Tsipras ;-)? tape:
          As to Polish intelligence, of course, it’s not like everyone working there is a double agent of FSB, BND, CIA or Mossad (Mossad was the only western intelligence which carried out the assassination behind the Iron Curtain – Abu Daoud, a Black September commander who openly claimed to have helped plan the Munich attack, was shot multiple times on August 1, 1981 by a gunman in a Warsaw hotel cafe).
          But Poland is too important of a player to be left alone when it comes to infiltration. The successful parts of Polish intelligence operate mainly in countries like Iraq, where they liberated and smuggled out of Iraq imprisoned CIA officers, an operation the CIA refused to undertake – this helped to get a 50pc debt (interest rates rather) reduction in 1991 (but did not help to get Germany to finally pay war reparations, because the US is not that mad to f..k with Germany).

  3. goinghome

    I agree, blackcase. The indignation expressed here on the side of the underdog, and the evidence presented to back up the case, is both heart-warming and persuasive. Today’s the day all will be revealed. May mercy and common sense prevail!

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      This is about decent Germans which support Greek claims:

      And that one I urge every reader of this blog to watch because it shows how tolerant and liberal Germany is really. This is a short video about the General Inspector of SS, Gruppenführer Heinrich Reinefarth, who order tortures and executions of Polish 60,000 civilians, mainly woman and children, during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.
      He was arrested for war crimes, but the local court in Hamburg released him shortly afterwards – West Germany ruled that genocide was not in the criminal code of Nazi Germany and therefore, would not be applied retroactively (“Paragraph §220a (genocide) of Germany’s Strafgesetzbuch”). Reinefarth went on to live a normal life similar to other war criminals and Holocaust perpetrators living in West Germany including SS-Obersturmführer Strippel from Majdanek concentration camp and Oberscharführer Fiedler from Che?mno extermination camp. In December 1951, he was ELECTED MAYOR of the town of Westerland (sic!!!!), the main town on the island of Sylt.
      In 1962, he was ELECTED to the PARLIAMENT (Landtag) of Schleswig-Holstein. After his term ended in 1967, he worked as a respected lawyer. Despite numerous demands by Poland, he was never considered guilty.

  4. davidhig

    Just wondering, how should the poorer countries of the EU explain to their citizens why Greece gets preferable treatment?
    Why should Greece spend 17.5 % of GDP on pensions (2012 figures), while pensioners in Estonia, Ireland and Lithuania only get 7.9%, 7.3% and 7.7% (Eurostat). What did Irish pensioners do wrong??
    Why should Greek pensioners get a 13th month of pension, when the government of Slovakia has denied this to its pensioners?
    Greek pensions are often comparable to German pensions – they just arrive at the age of 53, not 63-5 like in Germany. Can you explain why Greeks should retire 10 years before Germans?

    It’s not just Germany vs Greece, the poorer countries of the EU have also had much hardship, and have now returned to economic growth. They see little reason to support a country with higher living standards. You mention agreements from the 1950s, but ignore the experiences of Europeans who has seen their economies devastated twice – in the collapse of communism and then in the depression of 2008.

    The government of Syriza has overseen a collapse in tax revenue and increased withdrawals from Greek banks. It has handled the situation disastrously.

    The EU has handled the situation poorly – but it is hard to make a deal without any trust. It is hard to push for economic reforms when these are difficult to measure – it is much easier have simpler targets – like government income/expenditure.

    • Deco

      The Greek government will have to answer to their people on why they throw such money around when the hospitals are in chaos.

      I suspect that they are shying away from being courageous enough to address this issue. The state pensioners vote PS anyway ( a bit like the way that those with their snouts in the system vote for FG/LP/FF). An outsider based government like Syriza should have had the courage to address this. If they are not, then they are not being responsible.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        I have to say that even though I find the German position in negotiations morally dubious to say the least, there is a bit of this Greek money-throwing around still going on in Greece as I pointed out in the second part of my London Debt Agreement analysis. For example, completing Davidhog’s comment on Greek pension v Slovakian and Irish pensions, Greek governments did themselves no favour to Slovakia when Slovakia, a country comparable in size but with harsher austerity, has 14,000 army and Greek built the biggest Panzer army in Europe, with 135,000 people.

        For example in 2011 they spent 7 billion euros and unlike Poland, they do not border with hostile Russia, which has been training their army for nuclear attack on Poland since 2009 (hence Poland’s push for the US army bases in Poland):


        From 2002 through 2006, Greece was the world’s fourth-largest importer of weapons. Despite the country’s ongoing debt crisis, it remains the tenth-largest military importer.

        I was watching some Latvian woman being interviewed who said “I empathize with Greek pensioners, I know that they have it very hard now. But there are not the only once in Europe who have it hard, my pension is 240 euro a month. How much is theirs? More I suppose…”

        And in fairness, Greek people could do with some genorosity from their own insiders towards those on food stamps: if a teacher can retire over there after 20 years with €40,000 lump sum as a golden handshake, could they not donate some of that money to their fellow countrymen which are not insiders?

        I think that aspect overlooked by David is that not only Greek has (had?) corrupted governments, it also has corrupted population, at least those who wants to maintain the crony system (for example, did you know that in Greece you were getting a bonus if you did not have a lift at work, even if it was 2-storey building and woman were getting a benefit if they did not manage to marry before 30? – combined forces of Beckett, Flann O’Brien, Monthy Pythons and Slawomir Mrozek could not make it up).

        As long as most people in Greece were insiders the voters did not mind and they were voting for socialist levels of spending with liberal levels of taxation financed on money borrowed from everyone, from rich Germans and French (who exploited that Ponzi scheme) to poor Poles.
        Now it turns out the cake is not big enough for everyone and even being an insider is no longer a guarantee of a good wage.
        Syriza is probably – probably – the least corrupted of their governments, which lest people forget had been almost entirely socialist since Greece cheated its way to EC via France, but I still have some beef with them (even though I generally keep my fingers crossed for their fight with Brussels – like you said, maybe they will be to Brussels pact what Solidarnosc was to Warsaw Pact) for stupid stunts like re-employing 600 people to clean one building which BOI employes 10 people part-time to do.

        And bear in mind, German and French banks swindled on deal with Greece, but neither German politicians nor German voters wanted Greece in eurozone – only German and French bankers and French politicians wanted it (the shares of French banks went up by 24pc when the first bailout program for Greece was announced) and without being in eurozone Greece would not have gone into so much debt (another thing suspicious with Syriza – why do they not want to leave the eurozone and default, like Iceland? – is it because they could not create a million public jobs for their pals they promised before the election?)

        I also think that David’s article on London Debt Agreement terms – which partly repeated my arguments – would have been even more pregnant with meaning if had he not overlooked my information that NOT ONLY Germany, unlike Poland in 1991, was pampered by western world being given strong incentive to buy German products because otherwise they would not have to repay any debt (3pc trade surplus clause), but also by the fact that basically THEY WERE NOT FORCE TO PAY ANY WAR REPARATIONS to any country bar Israel – pay attention to this sentence from below link:

        “Jews in the Soviet Union, eastern Europe and the Arab countries were not represented.” – I would add and neither were Poles, Czechs, Greeks, etc, etc.


        – 1950s Germany would have been in a much weaker position if not only they had to spend 80pc of their convertible currency merchandise export earnings for debt repayment, like Poland up till 1991, but if they had to pay more than trillion euro as war reparations to all occupied countries, which was delayed until their re-unification and then basically they showed a middle finger (the payment to Israel was a separate agreement, by the way, there is an interesting story related to that – Israel initially claimed that 10 million Jews died in Holocaust, but when Germans offer to build nuclear submarines for Israel and give it to them for free, Israel agreed to bring it down to 6 million, which was a total number of people killed by the Germans in Poland – Israel basically counted the 3,100,000 non-Jewish Poles as Jews and cashed in the money for them, so up to this day Germans believe that they already paid money to Poland for concentration camps).

        I am attaching a few links for future consideration.
        This is about how Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Finland paid war reparations, but not Germany:


      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        This one is about how Polish parliament demanded war reparations from Germany:


        This is about how Germans demanded war reparations from Poland in response:

    • joe sod

      very good points. It is not just about Germany there are other countries involved in providing Greece with funding. Most notably countries of the former eastern block. I dont think they have much time for Greeces flirtations with the far left seeing as they experienced first hand for 45years the communist waste land. Also getting tired of the Germany bashing . Much of the fault lies with Greece and Syriza is turning into a disaster. They have returned Greece back to crisis with their eutopian poplulism.

  5. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Sorry goinghome,
    Mercy and common sense is sadly lacking among the clowns of heads of government in the EU.

  6. michaelcoughlan


    “Why is the rest of Europe trying to destroy the Greek banking system, which has already been made fragile by successive pro-European governments borrowing hand over fist and hoping to use the subsequent IOUs as collateral for the Greek banking system?”

    To teach the greeks a lesson that you are not to fuck with european politicians who serve a banking agenda. I presume that the german banks have liens on the collateral of greece? Surely it must be obvious to you that Greece will be asset stripped to bolster the balance sheets of European Banks? That Limerick cunt knows the game is up.

    “Could it be the case that in order to save the euro, the European elite destroys the EU?”

    Arent they doing it already increasing taxes causing economic contraction and deflation with inflation in the necessities?

    “Are we so craven in our willingness to do someone else’s bidding that we forget historical facts?”

    Yes. We are in fact such a Despicable race of fucking cunts we send our best and brightest out of the place every year by the boat, plane, and coach load to replace them with dirt cheap eastern european labour to be exploited by all means possible.

    “but why is Ireland faithfully being Germany’s greatest cheerleader?”

    Because we are such a bunch of fucking cowards we are siding with the biggest bully in the playground for politically expedient reasons.

    “If the ECB turns off the taps, the banks in Athens will fold. Rather than protect the Greek banking system, the European Union has done everything in its power to crush it.”

    Yes. Messy real politick isn’t it?

    All the greeks have to do is to do what Iceland did. Tell europe to fuck off, print their own currency and move on.

    If I was the Greek prime minister though I would be sending the Army to the border to protect it.

    All the other whingeing in the article is your Conscience getting the better of you. The cock suckers in the Dept of Finance, in Fail Eireann or in charge of banks aren’t so weighted down by their NON EXISTENT Consciences’s which is why they are in those jobs. You hardly think they CARE do you?


    • Tony

      I don’t know whether I love it or hate it when somebody says everything I was going to say. Well put Michael. You even got the Limerick cunt part bang on.

      • michaelcoughlan


        I don’t explicitly like using expletives but they are the only way to convey the veracity of how I feel.


      • DB4545


        Michael you’re talking about a despicable little sleveen who presided over the Hep C scandal. He had the inside information and could have taken the right,decent and humane action to end the misery inflicted on those women (his fellow Citizens) and he actively defended the State rather than its Citizens. If his track record reflects that he will serve vested interests in the institutional State above the interests of Irish Citizens do you really think he gives a flying f**k about Greek Citizens?

        He’s a corporate hatchet man hardwired in his DNA to serve State,Institutional and Corporate interests. He clearly doesn’t see his conflict of interests because he’s conveniently forgotten that another group of people paid him to serve their interests by electing him on a specific mandate to the office he holds. FG/Lab had absolutely no hesitation imposing austerity on the electorate while feather bedding their own conditions of service.

        Just look at what the absolute scumbags (including Labour) blatantly ignored with the disgusting situation in relation to the Clery’s workers.I hope the electorate think long and hard at the next election. Perhaps it’s time for a referendum to repeal/amend the pay and pensions of the traitors who have sold this Country out. I believe in Capitalism but you can’t have capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich, that is unless you want to provoke major social disorder or revolution.


        • sean og

          Totally agree about his attitude towards the Hep C women,he is a complete absolute unadulterated waster.
          I remember exactly the Brigid Mcoll case where he fought her family tooth and nail ,and his excuse was “Im only doing what Ive been advised by my legal team” as if he was powerless
          Talk about history repeating itself.

        • Antaine

          Isn’t that how Capitalism works? It works because it always has Socialism to Bail it out. The rich get richer and the poor suffer.

        • Deco

          When I hear the term “Michael Noonan” one word comes to mind. That word is contempt.

          Contempt is the defining characteristic of Noonan.

          There could be a bank run in Ireland yet, in one of Noonan’s so called “pillar banks”.

          The Irish establishment are craven, weak, obedient, unaccountable, useless, and treacherous.

        • Mike Marketing

          Well said ‘DB4545 the vexed issue of Irish Party Political pensions (Ministers and TDs)is an important one for taxpayers. Turkeys however do not vote for Christmas; so you have two chances of that radical idea finding its way through the Dail – slim and none.
          The only hope is that a group of the new aspiring politicians put it in their Manifesto for their General Election bids? (how about it Lucinda, Stephen, Joe, Shane, Mick & Richard Boyd Barrett)

          Two issues here.
          1. No pensions paid to any of them until they reach the statutory national retirement age. and
          2. The pension itself linked directly permanently to the CSO average industrial wage figure and State Old Age Pension.

          That would provide Party Politicians with a real incentive to improve the lot of the common man.

          That would be a group worth voting for.

          Say a prayer for the Greeks in their hour of need.

    • Deco

      MC you are correct.

      The politicians in the service of big money, are scared stiff of Podemos in Spain.

      If Podemos get into power in Spain, then the entire “socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor” racket, and the complete denial of consequences, is going to be under threat.

      The EU is now a monopoly on policy. It has nothing to do any more with co-operation.

      Just ask the Greeks. Greece has elected a clean, non-corrupt government – and Brussels is doing all it can to bring back the scoundrels that created the mess, back into power.

      The EU does not want to solve the monetary or economic crisis. It is focussed on the political objective. Greece represents an example that they do not want to see replicated across Europe.

      In other words, what Solidarnosc was to the Warsaw Pact, Syriza is to the Brussels Pact.

    • sykram

      I hear ya Michael, well said… When you’re talking about an obscene situation brought about by even more obscene policy and politicians, you just have to use obscenities to convey just how obscene it all is…!

    • Deco

      Michael – from my experiences of the prevailing authority model in this country, it simply does not know how to handle constructive criticism.

      The textbook example is the behaviour of An CC in the Dail (the speaker of the Dail). He uses his power to shut up people who want to demand more accountability.

      The most defining even of Irish history in the past two decades was the Saipan Affair. It crystalizes the ability of authority to handle criticism, and the inability of large sections of populace to grasp matters of principle with respect to authority.

      I actually think we have regressed massively from the days of Parnell, Michael Davitt (remember him – of course he never gets mentioned by anybody because he was anti-authoritarian) and Captain Boycott.

      Yes, that is correct. We were better able to stand up for ourselves in the 1880s than today.

    • Reality Check

      +1. I really hope the Greeks give the two fingers to the criminals in the EU and leave them.

  7. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    It looks like Mr Edna will be back onto us for more taxes;


    I recently looked at the following indices;


    They are ALL correcting.


  8. Adelaide

    It’s ironic that by current immigration and birth rates Brussels will be an Islamic city by 2030. Will future EU diktats emanate from a city under sharia law? The economic (collapse) and subsequent social (islamisation) prospects for continental western Europe look dystopian.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      But the only MEP in Europe who had balls to say what you have just said in the EU Parliament – because cowardly Farage does not have balls to say it, he only talks about Poles who, unlike Muslims coming to Europe, are not entitled to social welfare and council houses from the the first day of coming (which is right) – the only MEP in Europe who has courage to say, the Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mike, had 3 months salary taken off by Martin Schulz after this statement:


      Pay attention to Germans – who dominate proceedings in the EU parliament – freely use the term Volksverhetzung, which is the German law terms for being a Nazi, while they themselves still obey 1940 Nazi laws regarding Polish ethnic minority in Germany

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      And our Greek (like Israel, which keeps buying tickets for African immigrants to Sweden – this is from their own official sources) friends threaten Europe that they will flood it with immigrants from Africa:


      Now, like MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke (Mikke is his surname, not Mike – my typo – pronounced Yanush Korveen Meeke), I am not against immigration from Africa and Arab countries as such (and there are some people who are genuinely trying to escape from war zones). A long time ago I was working with a guy from Nigeria who was actually very smart and well informed.

      But if you give them social benefits as asylums at the starts (unlike Eastern Europeans), you will get the worst of the worst.
      So eliminate social welfare for Muslim families with 4 wives and 12 kids and you will cut their immigration by probably 99pc.

  9. Adelaide

    Has Greece blinked first?
    “Greek concessions may secure deal”

  10. sravrannies

    Hi David, did you lose the gig with “Capital (www.capital.de). You have now!


  11. Pat Flannery

    I remain optimistic that Germany will remember in time why an integrated Europe is as necessary today for peace and prosperity as it was on 9 May 1950 when French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Robert Schuman, made the historical declaration called the Schuman Declaration, inspired by Jean Monnet the French economists and diplomat.

    It said in part “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.”

    The six original states, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg started by integrating their coal and steel sectors so closely together as to make war in Europe impossible. They remembered that they had fought each other with steel forged in coal furnaces. The Germans should ask themselves what would Konrad Adenauer do today. He would undoubtedly urge them not to go back to the suicidal “Lebensraum” mentality of the past.

    They are now Europeans first and Germans second. Let’s hope the British reach the same conclusion in their in/out referendum. There is a reason why Abraham Lincoln is the most revered of American Presidents. He taught every American that they are Americans first and Virginians or New Yorkers second. America is the greatest nation on earth because the rich states support the poorer states. This is Europe’s Gettysburg.

    • StephenKenny

      It’s a slightly bizarre comparison. 150 years after a bloody civil war, and a resulting common currency, the rich states still have to prop up the poor.

      If the members of a free trade block have their own currencies, then no one has to bail out anyone – they just let the market do it. Exchange rates move, interest rates move, and prices adjust accordingly.

      Of course free markets can always do with a nudge. One of the examples that I think is simply one of the most brilliant, and pragmatic, examples, is the system used by the US National Football League . The bottom team for the season, gets first choice of the incoming cadre, and so on. It’s also a nice reminder that the neocons do not really represent the USA.

  12. Mike Lucey

    It looks like everything is going according to Money Power’s relentless march towards a World Currency, the Bancor!

    ‘Bancor: The Name Of The Global Currency That A Shocking IMF Report Is Proposing’

    ‘The Dying Dollar and the Rise of a New Currency Order’

    How far away are we from a totally cashless system whereby Money Power has total control via puppet governments, not too far I fear.

    Mr N has shown his cynical side on more that one occasion here in the country with his uncalled for and belittling remarks in relation to how this country’s citizens might behave when it comes to water usage.

    In this country the quicker we take back our right to call a referendum on whatever we see fit the better for all of us. If you haven’t shown your support, you might wish to do so, here,

    It looks that my feeble efforts might have gone some way to restarted this Avaaz petition campaign that was launched in 2012 and looked to be dead in the water until last week.

    I would hope that the 50,000 figure is achievable. This was the magic number required under the Free State Constitution to initiate a ‘People’s Referendum’. This figure and possibly a much higher figure could be achieved alone if our bright intelligent young emigrants around the world put their names behind the petition.

    If this right could be reinstated the first people’s referendum I would like to see initiated would be one to give our forced emigrants a vote in all general elections held in the country for as long as they hold Irish citizenship.

  13. Danny

    There is a simple solution; Goldman Sachs can invent a new Greek derivative instrument that will create the missing billions – this can be followed by a ‘big 4′ audit that will undoubtedly provide a clean bill of health (based upon the information provided) and we can all start looking forward to sipping cocktails while watching a Santorini sunset. (at least until the next IMF payment is due :) )

  14. Pedro

    Agreed treatment of Greece is beyond shameful. Looks like they have gouged more concessions from them and this charade will trundle on for another few months at least.

    35% drop in wages since the crisis struck, some people will not be happy until Greeks are living on a euro a day and rely on charities to feed their families. They will then complain about all the educated Greek ‘economic migrants’ taking their jobs. Serious question where is the money going to come from? You cannot tax thin air, what usee is raised VAT when nobody has any money?

    I hope the Euro project is smashed to smithereens before Greece becomes a template for the rest of the periphery countries in Europe. There is no Free market in the Eurozone only privatised profits and socialised losses, rotten to the core.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “There is no Free market in the Eurozone only privatised profits and socialised losses, rotten to the core.”

      When the first bailout plan for Greece was announced, French banks shares went up by 24pc. TWENTY FOUR!!!

  15. Deco

    The ECB is now a problem. It is not living up to it’s responsibilities. And yet it’s way of continuing this stance, is to have an all out campaign against the Greeks for not living up to their responsibilities.

    In other words it is all BS, and the BS starts in the ECB.

    So where did the ECB go wrong. Well, the ECB went wrong when Wim Duisemburg (NL) got replaced by a Bank of France official who was involved in a very controversial scandal involving the Bank of France and a bank in Lyon (It might have been Credit Lyonnais – I cannot right remember right now). Trichet should never have become ECB President.

    He dropped interest rates to provide the ECB’s first bailout program. And the beneficiaries were …..drumroll…..Germany and France. Yep. That is right. And that was in 2003. That drove interest rates down, and drown loan activity to Peripheral Europe through the roof.

    ECB interest rate is the real source of irresponsibility in Europe. Maybe Merkel and the German media might wish to focus on the spectacular failure of the ECB, instead of snubbing the Greeks.

    The problem here is that the German people, like all the people’s of Europe, have been lied to. By the EU institutional complex itself. Now this is seriously worrying, because as long as we are in “official” fibs territory, there will not “official” admission of error – and same blunders will continue to occur.

    People in Ireland are also misinformed. Because the media in tis country is more concerned with keeping FF/FG/LP in power than in telling the truth.

    Either way, the EU is going to blunder it’s way into more disasters. David Cameron is correct – either the EU get’s it’s act together, or else if is a waste of time being involved.

  16. Deco

    The greatest insult to truth in the past decade has been the awarding of the Nobel Prize to the EU, whilst the EU directs misery on the population of Greece.

    The Greeks should have been given the Prize money. They are the real heroes. The EU’s accounts have not been signed off or audited fully for over a decade. Even Greece can do better. actually, even Rehab or the FAI are more accountable than the EU.

    The EU is on the road to ruin, and it will ruin many people along the way. It has lost direction, and lost the connection to people.

    • DB4545


      I’ve long advocated political change but I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re bought and paid for. We pay 166 people who are effectively county councillors to do nothing.I think we have it within our power to force change if we target our purchasing power by rewarding those who demonstrate that they help us and boycotting those who don’t. Captain Boycott is remembered because the boycott was effective. If the Country that claims to be the powerhouse of Europe wants to bully Greece like it did with Belgium in the last century maybe it’s time to stop buying products and services from that Member State? The wallet is faster and usually more effective than the ballot box.


      • Deco


        I have decided to boycott the mainstream media. Most months in the year, I do not watch TV. In fact it is highly unlikely that I will watch TV between now and when the weather turns cold. And when the weather turns cold there are options like books, spending time with other people, the internet.

        We are controlled via the media. Once you opt out, (and you exhibit signs of having opted out, because you think for yourself, in an original manner), then you feel differently about how the crowd behaves.

        You see how people are moved like “flotsam” on a sea current. So many people are aimlessly wandering especially in respect of their minds being pumped with irrelevant distractions like sports and soap operas and 24 hour “news”.

        If society cannot be free, then at least as individuals we can make a choice to be free of the programming that is controlling society.

        And always respect anybody who breaks the “mainstream” even if you disagree with them. Original thinkers needs to stick together.

        • sykram

          Deco, wholeheartedly agree with that statement. I stopped watching mainstream media about 5 years ago. The blatant lies and deceit especially from Rte the government’s propaganda wing was making me seriously ill

        • StephenKenny

          Although this runs the risk of becoming one of those “Hello, I’m stephen, I don’t want TV’ session, I gave up the national TV, newspapers and radio, in the mid 1990s.

          It’s much more difficult to get good news and current affairs from the internet, but there’s something incredibly uplifting and freeing about realising that not everyone agrees with the the national media view:

          Although there was absolute, non-stop, unison from the foreign affairs editors, it always seemed unlikely to me that Afghanistan was planning to invade the USA, just as it now seems that the west are clearly trying to start a war with Russia, and will clearly wade through any amount of blood, commit almost any scale of crimes against humanity, to achieve their goals.

          • Mike Lucey


            I’d say the West, including ‘neutral’ Ireland is already at war with Russia by voting for economic sanctions.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            The war in Afghanistan was never about Afghanistan planning to invade the USA (I am not even aware of historians who claim that) but about control over the drug trade and energy routes.
            The west are clearly trying to start a war with Russia, but this is a counter-reaction to Obama’s reset, which was basically a plan of giving Eastern Europe to Germany and Russia, and Russian constant military exercise before Maidan in which they trained to nuke Poland.

            The way I see it, both the US and Russia are trying to expand at the cost of China (and the Germans see Eastern Europe slipping away from their fingers, so they try indirect threats like restrictions on transit 3-4 days after the pro-American president had been elected in Poland), US staged a coup in Kiev and Russia prevented further expansions by annexing Crimea.

        • “Original thinkers needs to stick together.”

          There is the rub. Original thinkers agreeing with each other are no longer original, but in danger of becoming mainstream.

        • DB4545


          I’m not an original thinker but I do like to read outside the mainstream. I’ve mentioned the boycott but I have to concede that it can be a negative (but very effective) way of achieving what I believe may serve the common good. I like the concept of “nudge” (when used by Citizens and sometimes by the State). Reward companies that operate fairly and starve companies that don’t. Capitalism does work if people think before they spend.

          Thinking is great but action is better so I’ll give a practical example which I’ve mentioned before. I had some business to do in Newry and I was driving around the North today. You can’t help but notice the amount of Solar electric panels on the roofs of commercial and domestic premises. In short businesses and private households are being (mildly) subsidised to produce solar power. This is happening in Germany and the UK and most of Europe. The capacity and cost of electricity generated from solar elsewhere in Europe will put us at a competitive disadvantage within three years. Mass market electric cars are approaching ranges of 200km and will achieve 300km with two years. In essence cheap(er) electricity and relatively cheap private transport costs are on the near horizon.

          The resultant savings to consumers will free up billions in current oil imports that could be directed towards health, education or whatever way individuals see fit to help their standard of living.

          Meanwhile in this part of the world our government is in bed with a billionaire who made his initial millions by engaging in corrupt practices with a former government minister from the same party. He appears to moving towards regulatory capture of water supply, retail petrol and oil supply and media services and other interests. His private vested interests could cost the Citizens of this State even more money and lost opportunity costs. He has the government in his pocket so how do we beat him? Stop buying his f**king products and services wherever possible and start buying from his competitors and nudge change with our wallets. Capitalism works if you use your BRAIN and your WALLET.


      • Mike Lucey


        Most folks base their buying decisions on price alone for obvious reasons. I doubt Lidl’s or Aldi’s turnover will be effected by anything Germany does.

        Maybe the single currency and Europe’s Representative Governments including the undemocratic EU Parliament and Council of Ministers have past their usefulness.

        In the case of the Euro, I thought it was a good idea when it was proposed back in 60s and more seriously in the 70s. Most folks I know though it would be handy when holidaying in other parts of Europe, me included. Is it such a big deal these days when it comes to currency conversion? In my case all I have to do is lift my iPhone and ask Siri!

        The 166 Dail seat warmers are not needed in this day and age when ‘interested’ citizens can be easily involved, via everyday technology, in a democratic self ruling system.

        We are in the age of ‘crowd-funding’ and maybe we should be looking at ‘crowd-governance’ or at the very least ‘crowd-reins’ to keep what to all intents and purposes is a 5 year dictatorship by a group that have not been directly elected to this position of absolute power.

        Paddy Power reckons (and he is rarely wrong) the next government will be a FG/FF (what I like to call) ‘self preservation’ coalition. See the odds (11/10) here, http://www.paddypower.com/bet/politics/other-politics/irish-politics?ev_oc_grp_ids=591647 Can you imagine what this grouping would get up to? I hope that we see many more independents that will try to keep things on the straight and narrow or at least expose corruption.

        • DB4545

          Mike Lucey

          That’s a difficult one to assess Mike unless and until people decided to take such action. If Germany wants to target a specific Member State and attempt to humiliate its people what’s to stop European Citizens turning the gun around and putting some manners on them?

          Money talks and bu***hit walks and a focused campaign on a few well known brands just might do the trick. Money is mobile and its impact is devastating as so many have found out with austerity. The gun can’t work without ammunition and we have the power to remove the ammunition. Why support an entity that would hurt your neighbour? They’ve played this game twice before. And lost. Vorsprung durch boycott as they said in Mayo in 1880. And it worked.


        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Paddy Power is likely to lose with me on the collapse of the Eurozone before 2015 – bet placed many years ago.
          My bet regardign the next Irish government was SF in government, at odds 150:1.

          Unless Russia offers Greece something substantial and they extort even more money from EU taxpayers in order to prevent Greece being a Russian satellite

  17. Shane F

    What is Noonan afraid of ?

    ”Germany, Ireland Demand ELA Curbs If No Greek Capital Controls As Greek “Proposal” Revealed”


  18. DB4545

    Shane F

    What’s he afraid of? Having to live on a pension sharply devalued by a collapse of the Euro and being forced to live in the Country post retirement that he helped to destroy. Losing out on all the non-executive directorships as a reward (but conditional on)delivering heads on plates for his Brussels masters.


  19. ‘All efforts that aim at abolishing poverty in the world without putting gold coins and gold bills back into circulation are doomed.’


  20. Balazs

    Dear David McWilliams, I read your site sometimes for excellent insights but I don’t like this article for several reasons.

    The German government made a big mistake in lending Greece so that the German banks can be paid back. They promised the German populace that Greece will be able to pay it back. So they now need somebody to blame, so they blame Greece. The German govt is just as corrupt as the whole EU establishment, they look at their own short term interests and they don’t give a flying f**k about the German or the Greek people. What they did is they raped the German taxpayers to pay back the German banks.

    So I don’t see much merit in bashing the Germans for any of this. Bash the German govt, they deserve it.

    To be balanced, also the Greek govt is also not innocent. They took the money and squandered it. So in effect they also raped their own population. This party had to end sooner or later. This is independent, if the Germans say something or not. You just cannot live beyond your means.

    What is the final point? The governments raped the working people, as always and the banks made a nice profit.

    • Reality Check

      The Majority of the blame lies with IMF and their pro-cyclical approach. The IMF’s pro-cyclical approach actually makes the situation in Greece worse off because they (WRONGLY) assume that the economic problems are cyclical in nature. Clearly, the problems in Greece do not resemble those seen during a normal economic contraction. Greece is in fact in a severe depression.

      This is by Design.
      This is rape by the Criminal Bankers and their cronies in the various EU institutions.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      I like the Germans and their culture (I had a German girlfriend, from Prenzlberg) but I bash the German state, supported by German voters, for weaseling their way out of paying war reparations to countries like Poland or Greece, refusing to sign the Peace Treaty with Poland (Chancellor Kohl was willing to postpone the German re-unification rather than sign the Peace Treaty) and STILL abiding by 1940 Nazi laws regarding Polish ethnic minority in Germany (while Poland recognizes German ethnic minority). See my detailed analysis above and my previous comments on Peace Treaty.
      “You just cannot live beyond your means.”
      Well said. And I respect Chancellor Merkel for balancing her budget.

      “The German government made a big mistake in lending Greece so that the German banks can be paid back.”

      The biggest blame on lending to Greeks lays on the French. They wanted to make Greece French satellite, so they smuggled them into the European Communities. Then the French helped the Greeks to swindle their way to the eurozone.
      Then Greeks could borrow enormous amounts of money, which was facilitated by German companies like Siemens and US companies like Goldman Sachs.
      Now Syriza is trying to deal with all that shite created by socialist governments of Greece, German companies and French politicians.

    • DB4545


      The German people elected the German Government so they have some responsibility in these matters. That also applies to Irish people. I’ve always lived within my means but a few years ago the people I elected to represent me told me otherwise. They said that German, French and UK banks had loaned billions to Ireland and somehow I was on the hook. On further investigation I found the loans were made from PRIVATE European banks TO PRIVATE Irish banks. Somehow these prudent Swabian and Prussian and Hanoverian and British and Parisian bankers thought that extraordinary profits could be made in real estate at percentage points not available to drug cartels.

      These serious Swabian and Prussian and Hanoverian bankers didn’t show much interest in due diligence. Unlike the Swabian housefrau that Herr Merkel admires so much these guys behaved like reckless drunks in a Las Vegas casino. I have no problem with any of that providing I don’t have to pick up the bill. When it went tits up (as it had to) MY elected representatives thought it prudent to hand over MY money to these a**holes. In essence if they had gambled and won they got to keep the profits but because they gambled and lost I’ve become responsible for those losses.

      So here’s the deal. If you think you can have some kind of modern National Socialism in Germany (using banks instead of tanks) while every other Country in Europe is bled dry I think you’ll find you’re very much mistaken. I trust that the German people will communicate those points to the German Government at the next election with the same efficiency with which they manufacture cars.


      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        I would like to add a piece of information missed by everyone on this blog, including David, which will substantiate your claim, DB4545, that Germans are also responsible because they vote but furthermore that poor German taxpayers “forced” (no elections in Germany?) are perhaps not that poor. Now this comes from the Holy Grail, the Eurostat, so no one will tell me it can be denied in any way.

        Dear readers: if you look at money spent on the EU as a percentage of income, German taxpayers contributions to the EU are FOURTH LOWEST, with France’s fifth lowest (the lowest being the UK taxpayers, who are in fact subsidized by Polish taxpayers, Ireland is a bit above of the average). Who pays the most for the last few years?
        Hold your breath – counties who are so weak that they can be fucked over: Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and, I admit, fitting like a square peg in a round hole Dutch.

  21. Mike Lucey

    I see a poll on The Journal, ‘Is it time the EU gave Greece a break?’


    The results so far are,

    Yes 46%
    No 40%
    I’m not sure 9%
    I don’t care 3%

    I looks like the Irish still have some compassion even if Herr Noonan doesn’t.

    • Pedro

      Its shameful that vote is even close. Irish people have short memories of what its like to be humiliated and powerless, the people who voted no may be very unpleasantly surprised when the eyes of the Troika move to other indebted countries like Ireland.

  22. Many interesting comments, historical perspectives, and personal experiences have been noted.
    Back to the future it is now or the present at least.
    There is a gigantic battle being fought for world dominion. The US is intent at all costs to dominate, to have a unitary policy where all are vassals to its will or the will of the governors as 99% of the US population are included in “the world”
    Watching and observing the sequence of events over the last ten years or more I know lies, deceit and corruption are used to persuade us we do the right thing. Invading, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya followed by an attempt on Syria, and a Coup D’etat in Ukraine amongst others and a hundred other points of tension and events designed to instill obedience through fear of insurgency, war, terror and financial destruction, are having the desired effect.
    Europe is a pawn of the US used to attack Russia, the arch enemy, with support financially, militarily and politically through NATO. NATO now vastly expanded with the edition of ex Soviet satellite states.

    In to the mix comes the economic failure of the US and Europe. The current focal point being Greece. Greece can not be allowed independence as it is contrary to US policy. Greece must be punished for trying to exert itself. Others must be given the message.

    That is the reason for sanctions on Russia but paid for by Europe. Greece will be sanctioned by Europe or the debt domino failure will destroy the Euro. Sanctions may destroy Greece and the EURO. Does the US care?

    Greece will be given all the time it needs, under protest, or else she moves into the Russian sphere and away from NATO. The US will not tolerate that.

    Russia has prevented the takeover of Syria and retains its Med port there. Russia did not invade Ukraine. The US did by proxy and now moves missiles to Russian borders that can not be tolerated by Russia.

    The peoples of the world are duped and destroyed. It is time to wake up and make yourself heard. Do not be distracted by the Grecian activity and commentary but look at the wider picture.

    Note that all the politicians are literally bought off in cash to do the masters bidding. That would be so much more difficult with a sound money system rather than the ponzi scheme of unlimited cash we allow to operate. Economic destruction is a part of the overall plan.

    Removal of the central banks would remove a major part of the financing of all this aggression and wars. The US has expanded its debt by 30 fold since Nixon reneged on redeemable currency.

    Putting gold and silver into the hands of the people and returning to a real Bills doctrine of trade world wide will destroy the governors power and create wealth for the people world wide.

    Then Greece is a mere sideshow.


    • cooldude

      I agree fully with you Tony. You are actually too kind on the Fed because they have actually increased US debt from $390 billion to over $18 trillion and rising since they stupidly broke the link to gold. This is a 4411% increase in their debt and most of it has been used to fund their never ceasing appetite for war all over the planet. Fiat money is the money of a warfare state and has always destroyed the physical economy every time it has been used historically.

      You are right in that Greece will not be allowed to default because the system is now run by the bankers for the bankers and to hell with everyone else.

      Hope you are keeping well.


      • Hi Cooldude

        Seems everyone is too busy running around in the forest with paint ball guns to find their way out into a clear space to see what is actually going on.

        Power politics, through absolute money control, moving us around like pawns on a chess board. Putin sees it, feels it and is attacked by it and responds to it. Never thought I would say that Russia could be our saviour but that is what it looks like.

        China maneuvers and positions itself for survival and now aligns with Russia.

        As individuals, what do we, can we, do.

        Keep spreading the message I suppose and look after number one as nobody else will be able to help!!!

        We have to stop fighting amoungst ourselves and address the real issue or there will be another 1000 years of trouble and strife.

        Reviewing history is educational but not worth the effort if the lessons learned are not applied to current and future activity.

        You are correct. Never in the history of the world has debasing a currency ever done anything other than allow totalitarian government and economic collapse. You would think that this is a worthy subject for a noted economist?

        We now, in the West, debase our currency to an extent never before achieved. It can only result in the largest economic contraction ever achieved. It is really simple when one pulls ones head out of the wood pile.

        Enjoy your day Cooldude, and the same to all my friends made by connection to this blog.

        We enjoy a dry Spring and a Mediterranean summer here on the Gulf Islands. Day after day of 22-26 C temperatures. Water restrictions are in place and the grasses brown. Daily watering of my veggies produces a large garden plot but not enough to live on. I still eye a move to a larger property where self sufficiency is the goal but land here is so expensive that it is almost prohibitive.

        Maybe I should move to Bulgaria as my brother has done and is able to live on a very modest pension.???

  23. Reality Check


    For the first time in Greece a documentary produced by the audience. “Debtocracy” seeks the causes of the debt crisis and proposes solutions, hidden by the government and the dominant media.


  24. SFR Daniel

    why is Ireland faithfully being Germany’s greatest cheerleader?
    Using one slave to beat up another slave is the bully’s tradition.
    Thanks for this article and also the one in the Indo today.

  25. Wills

    The Greek narrative at play right now simply reveals further the real narrative at play since the banking crisis in 2008.

    The major banking conglomerates are networked in with the Euro and all special interests are gaming the Euro to hoover up real wealth, hard assets, and future income streams.

    The EU has essentially been coopted by a financial cartel and the Euro is their mechanism on which their piracy has been unleashed.

    WHO is going to sink these maniacs?

    • Just one theatre , Wills. This is world wide, not just Greece and the Euro and associated debts.

      Who is going to sink these maniacs? Very good question?

      We the people Wills when we wake up to see what is occurring.
      Most I talk to are taking too many benefits to rock the boat are or well off enough to not care to discuss any issue.

      We are trained that politics religion are taboo table topics and we must never, ever talk about money!!!

      Most are complaining in the meantime that either they do not get enough from the welfare state or others complain about how much they are giving.

      David is fond of exploiting this us and them scenario but never proposes a solution and steadfastly refuses to discuss the money system and examine the pros and cons of what we have so often brought before him.

      He is too busy making money and reporting on local conditions, Greece and Argentina etc., to get a grip on the total world situation and how we are all manipulated. Rather than accenting the divisions in society he should be looking at the commonalities and that all are affected by the same money meisters who pull the strings.

      Until these issues are discussed and aired and explained there will be no change.

      Thus we are betrayed all around by those we trust to help. Politicians, bankers and economists all.

  26. http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/comex-silver-is-the-most-corrupted-market-in-history/

    Corruption reigns at government behest. The CFTC turns a blind eye. No illegal activity here. But everywhere else there is. Billions in fines, no admission of guilt, and no one jailed for fraud.

    There is no such thing as a free market. Price discovery is a sham. Misallocation of resources the result. Economic disaster inevitable.

  27. Here is government duplicity at its finest. All paid off by the big money to betray the people. It must be a shock to have a greek government actually trying to represent the people.


  28. [...] Germany was forgiven much of their external debts in the 1953 London Debt Agreement, and given favourable terms for repayment of what was left outstanding. Yet what Germany benefited hugely from in the 1950s is [...]

  29. [...] The EU’s disgraceful treatment of Greece | … – Click on David’s name to get back to the home page at any time. These icons link to the main sections of the site, and you’ll find them in the same … [...]

  30. [...] The EU’s disgraceful treatment of Greece … – Click on David’s name to get back to the home page at any time. These icons link to the main sections of the site, and you’ll find them in the same … [...]

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