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Greeks rail against 'crude' German editorial

The Local · 15 Jun 2012, 16:02

Published: 15 Jun 2012 16:02 GMT+02:00

"Dear Greeks, create clear political conditions. Vote courageously for reforms instead of angrily against the necessary, painful structural changes," read the Financial Times Deutschland's editorial, published in Greek and German.

"Your country will only be able to keep the euro with parties that accept the conditions of the international creditors," the daily said, adding: "Resist the demagoguery of Alexis Tsipras and his (radical-left party) Syriza."

It endorsed the New Democracy party led by 61-year-old Antonis Samaras.

Syriza condemned the editorial as "a crude and unprecedented intervention, which offends national dignity and tries to undermine democracy."

The only thing left now is for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to "come and hand out ballots for the right," said top Syriza official Dimitris Papadimoulis.

New Democracy too was careful to dismiss the endorsement from a newspaper in a country that is widely reviled in Greece as it is seen as the main force behind a raft of painful austerity measures imposed in recent years.

"We are a proud people," New Democracy's spokesman said. "We do not want orders. We do not want provocation and manipulation."

Socialist Anna Diamantopoulou said it showed "political tactlessness" and accused unspecified groups in Germany of pressuring Greece to leave the euro.

In Sunday's election, the second in six weeks, all the top candidates are calling for varying degrees of renegotiation of the country's bailout deal which has provided aid in exchange for a gruelling austerity programme.

The poll will be watched around the world amid concern over the shockwaves that a Greek euro exit would send through the global economy and will play into talks by European leaders divided on how to resolve the debt crisis.

Meanwhile Merkel had no tips for Greek voters. "The chancellor does not give voting advice to neighbouring and friendly countries," he spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular briefing.

Asked about Merkel's vocal support for then French president Nicolas Sarkozy during elections in April and May, Seibert insisted she had not meddled in the democratic process.

"She said that due to the very good working relationship with Mr. Sarkozy and solidarity within the family of conservatives in Europe, she would support the re-election of Mr Sarkozy - it is very different," he said.

"The federal government is ready to work with any government that comes out of an election in a partner country."

At the government briefing, German finance ministry spokesman Martin Kotthaus said that the question about voting recommendations put by a reporter presupposed "a strange antagonism" between Germany and Greece.

"This is not a football match we are playing, it is about a European process," he said.

Story continues below…

"After the (Greek) election, the government that forms will be talking to all the European institutions... the troika, the Eurogroup and others. In this European process, Germany is just one voice among 17."

Asked about the payment of the next tranche of aid to stricken Greece, Kotthaus said there were still a number of hurdles to clear.

"First there are the elections in Greece, then the formation of government capable of taking action - that is what we are all hoping - after that the evaluation of the situation by the troika, then the payment of the next tranche," he said.

The troika, comprised of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, is overseeing the rescue for Greece as it struggles with its debt mountain.

AFP/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:55 June 15, 2012 by Englishted
Dear German newspapers mind you own business ,you have no right to threaten a democratic and free country this the Europe of the 1930's ,even though the E.U. is slowly but surely eroding the rights of it citizens on a daily basic.
20:47 June 15, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Europe is so far left, the 'Right' wants bailouts. Ha. Talk about an Overton Window. The same Progressive 'Right' as Merkel and Sakozy's parties, I guess.

The REAL Right and the REAL Left agree. That leaves only the Status Quo, the Elites. No more 'Bailouts'. It is time to vote no confidence.
20:54 June 15, 2012 by Eastard
Is mind your own business the same as pay your own way...?

The Greeks should be tollerant of other "Opinions"... A newspaper is just an opinions not a mandate to vote... It is offering a perspective which reasonable people tollerate... Those that have fear in other opinions must have something to loose...

The only free thing about Greece is their view of borrowing... It's free if you don't have to pay it back... Please grow up and become the country of your distant ancestors...
21:16 June 15, 2012 by AlexR
I was really outraged this morning when I visited the site of Financial Times Deutschland. This is the first time *ever* a German or any other newspaper wrote an editorial in *another* language (in this case, Greek) telling the people of a sovereign nation what to do.

But then I stopped being outraged when I remembered something similar; this propaganda is nothing new; just the medium is new. Now we've got Internet, back in the 40s they had leaflets. Back in the WWII, during the battle of Crete, the Germans dropped leaflets urging the Greeks to surrender and threatening dire consequences if the Allies did not surrender immediately. And to convince the Greeks they'd included sentences like "we the Germans, are the greatest admirers of the Greek civilization. It's only the English we want because they want to destroy Europe. Let us get the English so we can all leave in a peaceful Europe..."

Back to now and the FTD "recommendation", this is a prime example of reverse psychology and I'm certain that FTD already knew that. By telling the people of another nation, not to vote the "demagogue Left" but instead the "reasonable Right", you must be aware beforehand that they will do exactly the opposite. Particularly when you say "vote the reasonable Right" while you immediately add "even if is the same Right party that brought you into this mess."

So what is going on? Why the FT editorial elites tell the Greeks to vote for the Right and not the "demagogue Left" when it certainly knows that this will bring the opposite result? The answer is obvious in my opinion. Merkel, Schäuble & co. wish to expel Greece from the euro but since they can't do it by themselves, they are trying to find someone else to put the blame for that. And what's better than the election win of the "demagogue radical Left" who "don't want to cooperate with us"?

On his (almost daily) interviews Schäuble says that "Eurozone is now strong enough to withstand contagion from a Greek exit" and that and that "the European Central Bank has eliminated the risk of a financial collapse".

But it got even crazier last February. Schäuble "was caught on camera telling his Portuguese colleague that Lisbon can expect softer terms on its rescue package but only once Europe has dealt *harshly* enough with Greece to *satisfy German public opinion*. Any slippage by Greece will be seized upon as a pretext to withhold the EU loans".

So punish the Greeks as harsh as you can in order to "satisfy the German public opinion". And make the punishment even more harsh for the Greeks, in order to make sure that they can "slip". After that, you withhold the EU loans and throw them out of the Eurozone. What a beautiful world we live in.

h**p://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/9077586/Germanys-Carthaginian-terms-for-Greece.html
22:49 June 15, 2012 by IchBinKönig
@AlexR

'So what is going on? Why the FT editorial elites tell the Greeks to vote for the Right and not the "demagogue Left" when it certainly knows that this will bring the opposite result?'

so you think the FT recommended one thing, because in actuality it wants the opposite?? Reverse psychology? Wow. That's why I come to theLoco.de, for the most far-out, man, kooked all he way through, theories on the interwebs.
23:15 June 15, 2012 by AlexR
@IchBinKönig: "so you think the FT recommended one thing, because in actuality it wants the opposite?? Reverse psychology? Wow. That's why I come to theLoco.de, for the most far-out, man, kooked all he way through, theories on the interwebs."

Oh really? Then how about reading the three things below before making ignorant comments and assumptions:

1. Read what what the Greek parties have said on *very same* Local article above. Like this: "Socialist Anna Diamantopoulou ... accused unspecified groups in Germany of pressuring Greece to leave the euro.". Even the Right Greek party that FT told the Greeks to vote, have released the statement "We do not want provocation and *manipulation*". Yes, manipulation. Yes, reverse psychology.

2. Read the hundreds of comments by Germans and Greeks on the original article of Financial Times Deutschland at their site. The majority of those, say that the editorial FT will actually bring the *opposite* results of those FT recommended. Yes, reverse psychology.

3. Last but not least, read what Financial Times UK said about the article of Financial Times Deutschland. The report is on Bloomberg. The FT (UK) said that the FT (DE) intervention will actually bring the *opposite* results. Yes, reverse psychology.

So, the Greek parties, hundreds of comments *and* the FT (UK) clearly state that the FT (DE) article is gross intervention into the politics of another sovereign country and that will bring the *opposite* results of what it was supposed to recommend, and you are still living in your own bubble, accusing people about "far-out theories"?

Well, it's time for you to wake up and smell the coffee.
23:53 June 15, 2012 by IchBinKönig
AlexR.

Those who own the Greek Debt, people like George Soros, EuroZone Members, Technocrats in Brussels, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, all those exposed to the Sovereign debt markets, those who would like to be repaid on their investments. They want the 'Bailouts' to continue. Not for the benefit of the Greeks, but for their own bank accounts. Those are the 'Elites'. The people who want to keep the Eurozone together and bailouts coming despite the fact that the common currency is tearing the region apart. Isn't that you as well? Aren't YOU on the side of the ELITES?

Be honest with us.... You want all of this corrupt EU business to continue, don't you? Its why you are soo upset with FT DE for encouraging more votes for the 'Left' that wants out of the EU, isn't it. Can't we just say that this EU business has been your Progressive wet dream? A nightmare many of us saw coming. But you, Progressive Blowhard, have been one of its biggest cheerleaders, haven't you? And the 'Elites' are not far Left enough yet, are they?
00:37 June 16, 2012 by Bushdiver
The Greeks will vote to stay in the EU. They have all been brainwashed to believe that if they leave the EU Greece will cease to exist. In reality, their best chance for recovery would be to leave the EU, as far as that goes if the Euro no longer existed I think everyone would be better off.
01:47 June 16, 2012 by IchBinKönig
@ Bushdiver

'The Greeks will vote to stay in the EU. They have all been brainwashed to believe that if they leave the EU Greece will cease to exist.'

Well said. But the Greeks aren't the only ones who've been brainwashed. There are a few here as well. They write much, but say very little.

@operator

'krauts should keep their mouths shut before its too late '

'before its too late?' 'Before its too late' was last year. We're lowering the life boats for the 'Elites' now.
10:31 June 16, 2012 by peter douglas
lm amazed at the comments on this topic here,the critics are all accusing Germans of all sins imaginable and unimaginable yet they are residing here some even benefiting from hartv 4 we contribute,for gods sake pack your backs go back to whichever country you came from and make it better instead of making tantrums over Germany .im sorry but this time Germany will not be blackmailed anymore and will not back down.I remember one time being told when on holiday that you Germanys are Geisig but then you can only sustain yourself when you don,t live beyond your means the Greek way.No matter what happens Germany will cut its losses and move on for tomorrow we shall invent a product that can sale.We always have a plan B:Don,t think we formed the Euro with closed eyes.
11:46 June 16, 2012 by siba
... the financial times is just a newspaper. Democracy means journalists have the right of free speech as you guys above have it too. The german version of the financial times is just one of 100s of German newspapers with a very specific, very small target group. Its journalists think they have to do sth. good from their perspective by even addressing Greeks directly... Germans and the Greek are free to choose which newspapers they read and what they want to believe...

I really do not know what the big deal is. Germany is NOT one finance newspaper!!

To draw even links to nazi-Germany is totally out of context. As Non-German I must say that most Germans do not really think too much about the Euro-crisis or Greece... Nobody wanted to harm anyone, people just want solutions to problems but nobody really knows what will work and will be good in the long run.
13:18 June 16, 2012 by AlexR
@IchBinKönig "But the Greeks aren't the only ones who've been brainwashed. There are a few here as well. They write much, but say very little."

And then there are the ones who write much, but read very little. Because if you could read my comments above and throughout this site, you could easily see that... don't be shocked... I mostly agree with you. Yes, the average German, French etc, has been manipulated and brainwashed by the likes of Bild, Merkel & co. in order to believe that his tax 'bailout' money are actually going to help the 'lazy' Greek people. But no one told him that ALL of the money the 'troika' (EU/IMF/ECB) gives to "bailout" Greece, in fact circles directly back into their own banks and the 'troika'. Why? Because they don't want their people to know that their bailout money don't actually help Greece and the rest of the PIIGS but only help their banks to recover from the irresponsible lending (I call it gambling) that those very same banks have made.

As for the FT(DE) article and my comments above, please read again. Almost all the comments of Greeks and Germans on their site, the Greek parties *and* FT(UK) say that their intervention will actually bring the opposite results from the ones suggested. Those are the indisputable facts, the rest is just your, or my, personal opinions.

Also read what Schäuble is saying almost daily for the last three months, i.e., that the "Eurozone is now strong enough to withstand contagion from a Greek exit". Why 'now' and not then? Feel free to read my past comments or search for yourself. To help you out, you could read about the Greek Economy 101 below. Yes, that article is written by one of the people who "write much" according to you. If you are unable to read it, feel free to visit a site full of pictures and no text, like Disney.com.

h--p://www.zerohedge.com/news/subordination-101-walkthru-sovereign-bond-markets-post-greek-default-world
13:56 June 16, 2012 by Sastry.M
The editorial in FT-De is NOT anything reflecting average German opinion but the Greek reaction condemning it as an unmerited meddling retorting with a Nazi roman salute poster is conspicuous of their out rage. Wonder how the Greeks reacted in their press, when back in 1933 the Big Business Community Judea declared war on Germany imploring all nations to boycott German goods and trade. Did they show any compassion to the destitution of people of DE? What happened to the wisdom of the very nation who courageously fought and stoutly defended the European Culture against invasions from the East?

When a German Nobel laureate opens his mouth late but before too late speaking against injustice and double standards, what was the honor showered upon him in the media and abuse that merited condemnation for his Nazi past and yet failed to thoroughly verify his antecedents before conferring the highest honor of virtue on earth? The Germans should not seek unmerited recognitions and gradings of frivolous Poor Standards but live with faith in God the ever benevolent on their side Who resurrected from the rubble of late 40's to the riches they seek to share with fellow Europeans.
17:13 June 16, 2012 by AlexR
@Siba

Of course, "Germany is NOT one finance newspaper". It is also the Bild newspaper with readership of 12-18 million, i.e., 15% to 20% of the German population, which is pursuing a hate campaign against the Greeks and the PIIGS based on stereotypes, generalizations and outward lies. It is also the Focus magazine which came up with a cover of an ancient Greek statue raising its middle finger. It is the German politicians who told the Greeks to sell their islands and Acropolis to pay back their debt. And above all, it's the majority of the elite establishment and the media that don't tell the Germans the truth; that their tax money don't go to help the Greek people but there are redirected back to the their own banks. Do you see the pattern here?

P.S. I was still writing the above when I saw that Bild just published a similar but much harsher "letter to the Greeks". Bild unabashedly writes "If you haven't borrowed *our* billions, then you could be *free* to vote whomever you want. But since your ATMs, only have German and other euro-countries money, if you vote for the parties that want to end the austerity, we won't pay more". Yes, "Germany is NOT one finance newspaper".

h--p://www.bild.de/politik/ausland/griechenland-krise/liebe-griechen-macht-jetzt-keinen-fehler-24686922.bild.html

@Sastry.M

(I'll make short links to what I am saying because the Local comments have a limit in characters and links you can post)

If by "a Nazi roman salute poster" you are referring to this article of the Local, then this is not a poster but a photo from some Greek carnival. I've seen far worse depictions of Merkel in Mainz or Cologne carnivals. If you are referring to the poster of Merkel that appeared in few places in Greece, it didn't have any Nazi salute gesture (here, h--p://bit.ly/AmxfW7). Unfortunately, this doesn't happen only in Greece, it happens in all PIIGS countries, even the ones that they weren't affected severely from the austerity like Greece. For example, in Italy (bit.ly/Mxn6r5), in Ireland (bbc.in/Mi7bK8) while Spain and Portugal have initiated huge Twitter and Facebook campaigns with hashtags like #StopMerkel.

And since you ask if the Greeks "showed any compassion to the destitution of people of DE", yes they did, in many occasions in the 20th century. As you probably know, according to many historians like the German economic historian Albrecht Ritschl, "Germany was responsible for what were the biggest national bankruptcies in recent history. That fact, unfortunately, often seems to be forgotten." (bit.ly/KXqKvm). And US, Britain, France, Greece, and others sacrificed vast amounts of debt owned by Germany after both World War I and World War II. The most recent haircut by 50% of all German debt was in 1953, where Greece had to forgo the war reparations and bank loans owned by Germany (bit.ly/ypZMPD).
18:21 June 16, 2012 by siba
AlexR: I still do not get it. There are populist newspapers in different directions. I also see your opinions to be quite populist in a the anti-German way.

I live in Germany and have never had the perception that the Greek people are generally pictured in a bad light. It is just about political positions in one or the other direction. I do not see here anything of trouble.

I see - understandingly - much more extreme populism in Greece - with Nazis on the one side and the left "we do not care about the rest of the EU" on the other side.

You should read newspapers of other European countries or the US, they do not write anything different than German newspapers do... some might much more populist.

The mind structurally tends to take in fundamentalist postions.. about who is bad and who is good - western dualism.... I see this a lot in this discussion about Greece and Germany. In reality the picture is quite differntiated with lots of colours... there is not a perpetrator and a victim... The real danger is to take in this one-sided perspective which makes blind for steps with regard to revovery and peace.
19:57 June 16, 2012 by AlexR
@siba

I find it rather amusing that you, a "Non-German" as you say, are accusing me, a half-German, for being "quite populist in a the anti-German way" (sic). As I've already said quite a few times here, if I wanted to criticize Germany, I could have easily done so because, being half-German half-French, I studied and worked in both countries for the biggest part of my life.

It would have been more difficult for me to criticize Greece because, even though I was assigned by my agency there for 3 years, I don't consider that living/working in a country for 3 years you know everything about that country. That is why, I find it quite hilarious that many people here and elsewhere, feel perfectly entitled to criticize the 'lazy, tax-evading' Greeks while they haven't even worked or lived a single day in Greece, but they base their assumptions solely on what they read on the newspapers. To give you an analogy, it's like someone from Tokyo who feels perfectly entitled to criticize the Scottish about their decisions on Scottish Independence.

I also find it rather amusing, that you are suggesting me to "read newspapers of other European countries or the US" when I'm one of the few people here who always supports his comments with links to the most important English press in UK, US and Germany like the BBC, NYT and the English edition of Spiegel, to name a few. Just in my last comment, I've added SIX different links! Did you bother to check even half of them? If you did, you could easily see that they do right something "different than German newspapers do".

To conclude, if you could read any of my comments properly, you could immediately realize that I'm not anti- or pro- German, Greek, French, US or anything else like that. But as a German taxpayer I am definitely *for* the German, Greek, French, US taxpayers and definitely *against* their financial, political and media elites who mislead, manipulate and brainwash those taxpayers with stereotypes, generalizations and outward lies.

So there is obviously "a perpetrator and a victim". Guess who is who? And guess how all of that stereotyping, generalizing and lying, doesn't bring "peace" but it actually makes the European nations and their people move further apart. This is actually the saddest thing, and this is what I'm trying to fight against.
21:53 June 16, 2012 by siba
... being half-German does not make you more or less of an expert on Germany. And I did not read all your links and all your comments... I also wanted to say that if you read different German sources like e.g. the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the second popular newspaper in Germany, die ZEIT... and so many others, then you will see that the Greek and the EU-situation is pictured quite differentiated. And if you read the NY-times, BBC-news and others carefully, you will see also articles demanding more austerity....

The local - and you seem to do the same - only respond to one kind of reports on the Greek situation... They also like to talk about nazis... If you look at the local of other European countries that is never the case though there the situation is similar.. so the situation is pictured simplified. The Germans do not think one way, and the Germans do not think in a bad way about Greeks.

And there is NOT any perpetrator and no victim. It is parternalistic to victimize a whole people and it is simplified to see others as perpetrators. THIS IS "Othering", simplifying, gernalizing...

You can read 100s of newspapers and still you do not know what is right. Nobody knows. I am sure the German government has the best intentions, as the French one, as the Greek people... I would most likely accuse the financial industry of egocentric and ruthless acts... Money often corrupts and this also applies to the rich in Greece who have never paid taxes and brought there money to the UK and to some tax havens....

however, we also have to admit that we do not really know. Giving up positions - they can always only be opinions - is the first step to bring peace and recovery. So the greeks are not lazy, and the Germans do not work harder. And Merkel is not a nazi and the Greek government is not the mafia... This othering is always both-sided. Though I do not see these poles. When I talk to my German friends, they do not have any steretypical thinking of Greeks. And my Greek friends - btw. Greeks are a dramatically growing group in Berlin - love Germany.

Btw: Der Spiegel - also the English edtion - is a German newspaper.

So, several times I intended not to poste here anything anymore because it is for nothing. Individuals express their opinions... but nobody will change his or her opinion because having read someone others... I see more the contrary. So I think our time is better used by doing sth. constructive in our societies... With this, have a good night.
22:28 June 16, 2012 by PNWDev
@AlexR #4, #6 and #12 and anywhere else I missed.

Argggggghhh.

How is it that personal responsibility does not play into your rants about the FT article? Editorial opinions are offered on nearly every subject by nearly every newspaper in the G20 (and more). And they have been around forever, this is not an isolated topic where an opinion has been offered yet you ramble on like it is.

If the Greek citizenry choose to vote the opposite of what an opinion piece in a newspaper suggests, then let them. If they vote without taking time to learn the cause-and-effect of both sides of the argument, then they will have lost their right to complain about the outcome of their vote.

@Englishted #1

Ditto!
10:01 June 17, 2012 by karldehm
Much to do about nothing! Life will go on with or without Greece. Germans whether private citizens or newspaper have the right to say what we want.

We will not keep our mouths shut!
11:50 June 17, 2012 by AlexR
@siba

Please don't misinterpret my comments, again. I never said that being half-German makes me expert on Germany, even if I lived in Germany most of my life. I only said that I can't possibly be "anti-German" as you labeled me, while I am half-German. This could be a paradox.

You don't need to tell me which newspapers to read. I think it's obvious from my comments here that I read most of the German and international press but with a critical eye. And that includes Bild, which as I remember you said few days ago that you never read. Perhaps it's a good idea to start reading it though, before you start saying what the average German opinion is, because for the 15-20% of the German population Bild is the primary news source.

Btw: You also don't need to tell me that "Der Spiegel - also the English edtion - is a German newspaper." It was obvious on my comments for the people who know what Spiegel is. Btw, it's not a newspaper, it's a magazine.

As for the subject of the article, let me put it one more time with an analogy. If I remember correctly, you said you are Austrian. How could you feel if on the eve of one of the most important elections in Austria, two major German or English newspapers, have published an "open letter recommendation" to the Austrians, telling them not to vote the "demagogues of the Social Democratic Party" but to support the "balanced People's Party"? How do you think the Austrians would feel? How do you thing the Austrian parties, would react?

@PNWDev

"Argggggghhh". You are accusing me of ranting and rambling while you are roaring and screeching? That's rich.

"Editorial opinions"? Really? Do you read German or Greek? Then go to the FTD site, it's not ED/OP, it is clearly labeled as "Vote Recommendation". After that, visit the Bild site, it's not ED/OP, it's clearly labeled as "Open Letter". And while you are there, read the hundreds of comments that the German people wrote -you will be surprised.

They "are offered on nearly every subject by nearly every newspaper in the G20"? Really? The subject here is very specific: the Greek elections. If they are so common, find me one, just ONE newspaper in the G20, that have published an "open letter vote recommendation" telling the people of another sovereign nation what to vote, in the language of the other nation. I will be waiting.

"They have been around forever"? Really? In Germany and many other G20 nations, the vote recommendations of the press to their OWN, not OTHER nations' citizens, were considered for decades as a taboo. This broke in 2002, again by the FTD, and has been strongly criticized by the rest of the German press. And where did the strongest criticism came from? The Bild newspaper, which is now publishing an open letter to the citizens of another nation.

h--p://www.welt.de/print-welt/article411877/FTD-bricht-mit-Wahlempfehlung-jahrzehntelanges-Tabu.html
12:16 June 17, 2012 by siba
AlexR: Maybe you do not remember what the EU did with Austria in 2000: For the first time in the history of the EU, diplomatic sanctions have been imposed on a member state. The 14 other EU countries reacted to the entrance of Joerg Haider's extreme right-wing FPí-Austrian Freedom Party- into the Austrian government by freezing bilateral relations with Austria.

So this was a huge thing, nothing compared what now happens with Greece.

However, I oppose national identities and would not see any problem if Germans, Americans or whoever tells me as an Austrian what they think I should vote for. There are so many different voices and I am responsible for myself building my opinion.

You said you are half-German: Maybe that is why you are so critical about Germany. In my experience, Germans are the most self-critical people in the world. Maybe because it is one of the few countries which confronted itself deeply with its dark side in history - sth. what Austria has not done like Germany. US-Americans, the French... they all generally see their historical role positively, though it is by far not if you look at it carefully.

However, I see no sense in arguing here. It does not serve anyone. Just be careful about your blind spots and do not only look at those things which fit into your strong opinions.
13:32 June 17, 2012 by AlexR
@siba

I remember quite well what happened in Austria in 2000, and I'm surprised how you think that there are comparisons with Greece. In Austria, for the first time in EU history, a far-right party had entered a coalition government which back then was considered as a breach of the EU Treaty that Austria had signed. In Greece, there is no such a breach of the EU Treaty.

As for the rest, it's rather oxymoron that from one hand you say that you 'oppose national identities' and on the other had you say that 'Germans are the most self-critical people in the world'. Because you have just added a "national identity" or characteristic to the whole of the Germans. This is a generalization that I don't agree with, the very same generalizations and stereotypes I'm against. Germans or Greeks or British etc are not as a whole 'self-critical' or 'lazy' or 'hard-working'. Those are individual characteristics of each person, not of whole nations.

And if you think that Germany is 'one few countries which confronted itself deeply with its dark side in history', I agree, but recently it seems that are forgetting that. And that's why I am alarmed.

I urge you one more time to read some of the links I've posted so many times here, for example, the ones on the German Spiegel.

The German economic historian Albrecht Ritschl: "Germany was responsible for what were the biggest national bankruptcies in recent history. That fact, unfortunately, often seems to be forgotten. The anti-Greek sentiment that is widespread in many German media outlets is highly dangerous."

h--p://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/economic-historian-germany-was-biggest-debt-transgressor-of-20th-century-a-769703.html

The economic historian Niall Ferguson and the economist Nouriel Roubini: " The European Union was created to avoid repeating the disasters of the 1930s, but Germany, of all countries, has failed to learn from history. As the euro crisis escalates, Berlin should remember how the banking crisis of 1931 contributed to the breakdown of democracy across Europe. Action is urgently needed to stop history from repeating itself."

h--p://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/the-germans-have-learned-nothing-from-history-a-838429.html
22:21 June 17, 2012 by siba
... opposing national identities does not mean that there are cutlural differences between nations - of course of course historical reasons...

It is like a child who grows up in a violent and poor family and a child who grows up under stable conditions in a wealthy family. It shapes its way of seeing the world and its tastes, in its values, ambtions....

however, again, who does it help to ADD to the picture that there are polarized positions and that Germany or Greece did or does sth. wrong. It does not help anyonone, on the contrary.

The media around the world writes enough bullshit. So let's stop that. We all are Greeks and Germans at the same time...
16:11 June 18, 2012 by maxbrando
The Greeks are too dumb to run anything. I only see the men sitting arond Syntagma Square pretending to sip a coffee while feeling themselves up, and bragging about the good old days (read:2500 years ago). You Greeks produce nothing, have no road system, and export no hard goods at all. On top of that your retsina stinks. Why do you complain about a German newspaper? Is it because you cannot look yourselves in the eye and admit that Greece is a festering boil on the buttocks of Europe.
18:33 June 18, 2012 by AlexR
@maxbrando

I completely agree. When I went to Greece for a 1-week vacation, I immediately saw what you've described. Greeks are too dumb and lazy, drink coffee all day, produce nothing, have no roads and export absolutely nothing.

And it¦#39;s not only their retsina that stinks. They also smell strange, and they are short, dark and hairy. Oh, and I also saw them eating babies and kittens with their stinking retsina.

Do you have to add any more stereotypes, generalizations and racist remarks about a nation you don't know anything about?

@siba

I think that above comment of @maxbrando answers your question about who 'adds to the picture polarized positions' and why you need to fight them before racism, nationalism and stereotyping become mainstream.
17:28 September 8, 2012 by Hendrich Stein
The modern German is a super star, a best friend of the Greek, who contributed so much throughout history.

In a strange sense, Germans are closer to the Greeks than anyone else in so many ways. This is reflected in their mutual admiration, even when they disagree. It is somewhat odd in how they relate to each other so closely, perhaps as neither regards the other as lacking intelligence and their very affection as proof.

The super stars of today are the objective, compassionate, and humanitarian Germans. They realize past horrors costing over 7 million of their own countryman's lives was a tragic folly by fooling like the masses amid prosperity following despair.

They feel no need for chronic denial than to proudly move forward than look back in shame .They do not adhere to barbaric ideals fostered by a mad man. They too vote in a democracy and legal system their close friends provided.

They realize we evolved to this great state through mass cooperation and are intolerant to isolating themselves through selfish ideals amid the natural response of protecting interests.

They are educated, and not pig headed and selfish amid many personalities in this less than perfect world.

The modern German is a super star and should be embraced.
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