Since then the Germans have refused any claim for reparations. It was put most clearly by Helmut Kohl when pushed for an answer about Germany's debts. He said" "look, we claim that we cannot pay reparations, because if we open this Pandora's box, then given the viciousness and brutality of Nazi warfare, the genocides - there were several genocides that the Nazis carried out - given these absolutely horrific facts and the unbelievable scale of these horrific crimes, any attempt to quantify this and translate it into claims against Germany will either come up with ridiculously low compensation or it is basically going to eat up all of Germany's national wealth." Germany has never budged from that position.
This stance is truly beyond all capacity to understand. The Conference on German External Debts (also known as the London Debt Conference) was held between February 28, 1952 and August 28, 1952 The Agreement reached at the Conference was ratified by the United States, France and United Kingdom on September 16, 1953, at which point the agreement came into force. This Agreement wrote off 50% of German foreign debt and its internal debts were restructured. A special system was established to assist in German exports to help it recover. So Germany had half of its debts written off by its allies and trade incentives proposed to assist its economy. In addition, it didn't pay the reparations to the many countries it occupied and destroyed. But now, the Germans are blocking any debt relief to Greece.
So, the Greeks are owed massive sums for reparations. They are owed massive sums for the forced debt the Nazis imposed on Greece to offset the costs of the Occupation. Now they are being hounded by the Germans to press on with an austerity program which will permanently enfeeble Greece and lead to tremendous social friction in the country. Surely it is now time for the Greeks to say that they will not pay a drachma or a Euro to the new German and EU economic gauleiters which have been impoverishing their country; that they will pay out of the massive sums accruing to it from Germany.
The Chinese are standing by ready to assist Greece and have been doing so in investing in key Greek assets. China is pouring money into Greece's infrastructure sector, viewing Greece as a strategic gateway to Europe. Foreign investment may be the best hope for the Greek economy. China has thrown Greece a lifeline as part of its Belt and Road Initiative -- Beijing's plan to build an economic zone stretching all the way to Europe and Africa by land and sea. Cosco has been at the vanguard of the march to Europe since it acquired operating rights for the Port of Piraeus container terminal in 2008. The company hired more than 1,000 new workers and invested 600 million euros ($634 million at current rates) to introduce state-of-the-art cranes and construct a new quay, among other projects. Under the 368.5-million-euro purchase agreement reached in April 2016 the Greek government initially sold Cosco a 51% stake. The additional 16% is to be transferred provided the Chinese company invests 300 million euros in the facility over the first five years. Accepting to work with non-EU nations appears to be Greece's best chance to break the cycle of austerity and pain imposed by Germany, the Troika and the EU.
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