Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek NewsEconomy'Word Battle': The New Greco-German Game to Practice Negotiation Skills

'Word Battle': The New Greco-German Game to Practice Negotiation Skills

mapWith Greece and its strictest European creditor, Germany, trapped into a new “word battle” game over the terms of Greece’s bailout plan, the impersonal financial jargon of the past has changed into barefaced personal attacks, hardening Greek and German people’s nationalistic antagonism, while simultaneously releasing accusations on both countries’ actual debts.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras chose during the previous days, to revive demands that Germany pays billions in World War II reparations to Greece, with the state’s minister of justice, Nikos Paraskevopoulos, even considering to sign an order to seize German assets in the country, according to reports.
“If one takes Athens seriously, then, Greece itself, which is so proud of Alexander the Great, would have to fear demands for historical injustice,” was Reinhard Müller’s spontaneous response regarding the war reparations in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
In the interview of Frank Schorkopf, professor of international law at the University of Göttingen, at Spiegel, Germany is presented having already fulfilled its obligations through wealth transfers. “In the past decades, Germany has provided enormous transfer payments, to Greece as well — not as reparations, but as a part of European integration. We are talking about a high figure in the double-digit billions, a sum that easily reached the level of possible reparations payments.”
The outburst of the aforementioned Greco-German scuffle is expressed through both countries’ political populism techniques, mainly inflamed by German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble and his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis. The ministers are taking part in the newly invented “Word Battle” game aiming to come up with the most scorning words in their vocabulary to beat their opponent. But who will receive more points in order to win?
“No one can understand better than Germany how a suffering economy with certain humiliations and a great loss of hope, what effects that can have,” Mr. Varoufakis stated during his first visit to Germany as finance minister implying the neofascist Greek party Golden Dawn and its similarities with the German Nazism. “We need Germany at our side; we need the support of Germany,” were his exact words, which may have resulted in an unbridgeable gulf among Greece and its creditors, leading only to a four-month bailout extension.
It is already obvious that Mr. Schäuble and Mr. Varoufakis have been constantly shooting arrows at each other, with Schäuble being persistent on his “Troika” remarks suggesting that there is a need for Varoufakis to look more closely at February’s agreement signed between Greece and the rest of Europe: “He just has to read it. I’m willing to lend him my copy if need be.” He didn’t even hesitate to call him a “foolishly naive” person regarding his communication skills, pushing the Greek ambassador in Berlin to officially protest to the German Foreign Ministry for his government’s finance minister’s provoking comments.
The above incident occurred the same day that Mr. Varoufakis hastened to state forthrightly that Greece would never pay back its debts in a documentary about the Greek debt crisis on German public broadcaster ARD. “Clever people in Brussels, in Frankfurt and in Berlin knew back in May 2010 that Greece would never pay back its debts. But they acted as if Greece wasn’t bankrupt, as if it just didn’t have enough liquid funds.” “In this position, to give the most bankrupt of any state the biggest credit in history, like third class corrupt bankers, was a crime against humanity.” It should be mentioned that Varoufakis’ remarks were emboldened later by comments from Syriza leader Tsipras who complemented that Greece cannot pretend its debt burden is sustainable and for this reason it’s vital for Greece’s public debt to be restructured.
The reaction to these “shocking” statements was “fast and furious” for the German side that fell, again, into the trap to attack Greece via tabloid Bild‘s front page. “The Greek government is behaving as if everyone must dance to its tune. But there must be an end to this madness. Europe must not be made to look stupid,” was the editorial comment that accompanied the front page suggesting basically European leaders discontinue providing Greece with extra financial support.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts