It’s All Greek To Me
Last week, Greece capitulated to Europe’s demands and now we’re all happy, right? But, in the midst of the Greek crisis, I saw a lot of annoying shit from the horrific, misinformed, Satanic world of Social Media. The Greek financial crisis seems to have inspired people to Blame Germany, something I see quite a bit in situations like this. This always irks me since it’s being done with no sense of history or…well, facts or rational thought. It’s knee-jerk madness that’s the same breed of ignorance that my 85 year old grandfather would summon whenever he told me not to trust “the Japs” because their “only goal is to march troops down Pennsylvania Avenue.”
Why do we defend Greece? They’ve been running a scam since they got on the Euro. They’re led by a dangerous, radicalized government that has ties to Putin who, by the way, is sending fully armed nuclear bombers to our airspace and then bristling at the interceptor jets we send out in response. But is that news? No. Instead, everyone on social media wants to obsess about what the Nazis did 70 years ago, aping the language of poorly researched news articles and a wildly corrupt populist government that has altered history to suit their needs, and will do so again and again.
So let’s find some links…
Point #1: The “Germany owes Greece War Reparations Argument”:
The argument here is that Germany got off the hook because we love fascists and they didn’t pay reparations. The facts, though, are that Germany did not get off the hook. Let’s ignore the fact that we fucking leveled their country, split it in half, and occupied it for 50 years after killing an entire generation. Yes, I know, I know, the Jews, the camps, tra-la-la. Germany is evil. But they didn’t emerge in 1945 with roses and chocolates, okay? Casualty counts, based on the 1939 population, were close to 9%. For the US, the count was .32%. So we got them. We got them good. And they didn’t simply bounce back into some economic powerhouse. Yes, we helped them. But that’s all because of the fucking Cold War and, even then, it took Germany decades to figure its shit out.
So how much were the reparations? Greece asked for just over seven billion dollars in 1947. That’s more than anyone asked for, including the Soviets who received tons of money, East Germany, and 15% of West Germany’s industrial manufacturing. So, basically, Greece asked for the moon. More sober minds awarded them 115 million Marks, about 67 million dollars. Germany paid that off in 1960 and paid an additional amount to individual families. The Greek government loves to quote this initial request of 7.1 billion as if it were accepted by the Allies. But the actual treaty just doesn’t agree.
Oh, and, by the way, Greece also got 105 million from Italy and 45 million from Bulgaria.
I often hear that Germany didn’t pay anyone but, in fact, they paid just about everyone. They reneged on their debt to the Soviet Union in 1953, of course. That’s thanks to the Cold War again. They paid off Greece in 1960. They finished paying reparations to all the various countries they fucking ass raped in late 2010.
Did Greece get screwed? Well, they didn’t get what they asked for when the treaty was being devised, but they did get what the treaty said they should. And they agreed to this in 1960. Before the reunification of Germany in 1990, Greece was asked if they wanted to push the issue. They said no.
At the heart of this argument is an enforced loan that the Nazis took. 476 million reichsmarks at 0%. Naughty, naughty. But here’s the weird thing… Even if we include interest, it only comes to 95 billion dollars (as of 2011). That’s even less in Euros, right?
Greece is asking for 279 billion euros and citing this loan as the reason why. Now let’s stop, look, and listen.
Point #2: Greece is not the victim. We are.
Item: Greece has zero tax enforcement. It is, simply, lawless. Last year, 76 billion euros in taxes went uncollected. (The Greek communists — who are currently in charge of the country — blame the wealthy folks, by the way. Yawn-o-rama, guys.
Item: Greece’s debts are routinely forgiven. In 2010, against their 300 billion euro debt, 145 billion euros were forgiven. So if you loan me a million dollars, and I say that I’m only going to pay you back $500,000, is that okay with you? In 2012, they get it again. 53% of their debt, 130 billion Euros, is forgiven.
So even the reparations idiots have to pause here — I mean, there’s 275 billion right there in 2010 and 2012.
Item: The luxury pension scheme. I love this. In Greece, you retire at 50. A majority of pensioners who retire at that age receive 2000 euros a month or more from the government. This versus a retirement age of 67 in Germany and an average of 1200 euros in government pensions.
Now, I say “a month,” but Greeks actually get 14 “monthly” pension checks a year. There’s an extra one for Christmas, and an extra one because Greece really doesn’t give a fuck and it’s all being covered by the IMF anyway! Tra-la-la.
Now, this has finally changed. Much to the dismay of the Greeks. This is being painted as a social tragedy and, again, Germany is to blame! Evil Nazis they! But isn’t this kind of like Willy Wonka so brutally punishing the children he’s invited to his chocolate factory? Hey, Nacho, the government will pay $2500 14 times a year if you retire at 50.
Oh, Nacho, now we’re bankrupt and we can’t collect taxes from anyone, so you’re fucked.
Sort of a bait and switch, and I think the guilty party is fairly obvious. (Hint: It’s not Adolf Hitler.)
Item: SYRIZA and Alexis Tsipras are, simply, terrifying. This is a radial-left coalition. They are openly anti-European and anti-western. Tsipras has been courting Putin for some time. Hell, they supported the invasion of the Ukraine, and are clearly in bed with the far-right in Russia.
The more you read about the Greco-Russian sideshow, the more it feels like Greece is actually a carefully planned element of Surkov’s “nonlinear war”:
Perhaps (and hopefully) a footnote, I can’t help but find it interesting when Putin sends bombers to the very edge of Californian and Alaskan air space, and then bristles when we send fighters to intercept them and turn them back. Meanwhile, just in case you think that’s an accident, it’s also happening to Canada, and has been happening for awhile in Europe. I think we can go ahead and call all that “testing the defenses,” and it puts the idea of Greece acting as Putin’s “Trojan horse in Europe” a little bit more in the spotlight, no? I’ve been crying about the Russian threat since 2004. So maybe I’m just crazy. Maybe you all are right. Maybe we should destroy Germany and Japan today, while we have a chance.