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Thomas Piketty: Germany has never repaid its debts. It has no right to lecture Greece

Conservatives, especially in Germany, are about to destroy Europe and the European idea, all because of their shocking ignorance of history. Germany is really the single best example of a country that, throughout its history, has never repaid its external debt. Neither after the First nor the Second World War. However, it has frequently made other nations pay up... The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.
Thomas Piketty: 'Germany Has Never Repaid its Debts. It Has No Right to Lecture Greece'
By Die Zeit, 8/7/2015

 link to thewire.in


Currently, Germany is profiting from Greece as it extends loans at comparatively high interest rates.

Germany was greatly shaped by its reunification. It was long feared that it would lead to economic stagnation. But then reunification turned out to be a great success thanks to a functioning social safety net and an intact industrial sector. Meanwhile, Germany has become so proud of its success that it dispenses lectures to all other countries. This is a little infantile. Of course, I understand how important the successful reunification was to the personal history of Chancellor Angela Merkel. But now Germany has to rethink things. Otherwise, its position on the debt crisis will be a grave danger to Europe.

ZEIT: What advice do you have for the Chancellor\?

Piketty: Those who want to chase Greece out of the Eurozone today will end up on the trash heap of history. If the Chancellor wants to secure her place in the history books, just like [Helmut] Kohl did during reunification, then she must forge a solution to the Greek question, including a debt conference where we can start with a clean slate. But with renewed, much stronger fiscal discipline.

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