Sunday, July 12

Wimbledon And Greece

Outside Centre Court
It is that time of year, and the best time in Britain: predictably nice weather, late evening sunsets and August holidays around the corner. It makes up for the winter, almost.

The Germans should be the first to offer generosity to the Greeks, having had their own debts resolved in the 1953 London Debt Agreement. The total under negotiation was 16 billion marks of debt resulting from the Treaty of Versailles after World War I which had not been paid in the 1930s, but which Germany decided to repay to restore its reputation. This money was owed to government and private banks in the U.S., France and Britain. Another 16 billion marks represented postwar loans by the U.S. Under the London Debts Agreement of 1953, the repayable amount was reduced by 50% to about 15 billion marks and stretched out over 30 years, and compared to the fast-growing German economy were of minor impact.

No, the Germans just tighten the screws, also being the last and only hold-out for Eurobonds. The 2010 bailout was really from the Western banks, who provided over €300bn of loans - German's 56bn the largest.

Now the debt has been "nationalised" by the ECB or provisioned for by the private sector - hence, some comfort that a banking meltdown reduced.

That said, Greece will never be able to repay - the IMF says so - similar to Germany, Argentina and Brazil in the 90s. Eventually relief will come but how much longer will the Greek European citizens suffer ?