Saturday, February 11, 2012

A taste of German attitudes towards Greece.

I find it somewhat surprising to find a State  controlled or financed broadcaster publishing Opinion (or editorial?) pieces on the internet, nevertheless that is what we got from Deutsche Welle last evening, linked here.

Whether the comments are the private opinions of the named writer, Bernd Riegert alone, they must nevertheless have attracted some degree of enforsement to have been place on the website. I will assume that they are therefore of more than passing interest, as they possibly find some acceptance among a wider group within Germany.

Mr Riegert is tagged as Deutsche Welle's Europe expert, therefore this statement has to be ranked as quite incredible "The drama that is currently unfolding before the eyes of surprised Europeans is a political one.". The only surprise at this late hour in the crisis is that anyone can still be surprised by what is happening in Greece, it has been inevitable for years. Indeed in the opening paragraph to the article it is described as entering its seventh act, but then blithely assumes everything will continue as earlier with enough funds left from the first bail out to meet the likely default payment in March without problem.

Such ill-informed optimism is not the major problem that arises from the article, however, I find the whole tone of the piece as tending to describe the situation as peculiar to Greece. The writer might as well live on Mars for all the awareness he appears to have that it is a problem that is partly due to his own country's politics,  particularly as it is one of the leading force within the European Union, which has deliberately pursued policies in the face of advice to the contrary, provided by economics experts over many years, that what we have today would be exactly that end result.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Riegert's article really seems to come from a guy unaware of key trends kickstarted by the creation of the Euro, and that have become increasingly evident since 2008. No mention of the German responsibilities for wage dumping against the other EU countries (which hit particularly hard the Club Med), no mention of the economically illiterate, and frankly idiotic as well as morally perverse imposition on Greece of an unbearable austerity; no mention of the need for shared Eurobonds and QE (geared towards kickstarting lending/investment rather than only towards recapitalizing banks) by the ECB (how else does he conceive the new start of the Greek economy to occur?); and no mention of the fact that Greek debts should probably be written off to a much higher extent than what has been offered so far.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

I concur,which appearing under the banner of D-W and with the description of being a Europe specialist, makes it all the more astounding.

The BBC Radio 4 Today programme had an item from their man in Berlin at 0810 this morning which I missed and no audio link has been provided, but I understand it touched upon the lack of coverage there over events in Greece.

Der Spigel International has been giving some good coverage as the crisis has developed, but so far they have nothing new from today:

2:16 PM  

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