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Ifo's Sinn: Greece will never pay Germany back

AFP · 28 Apr 2010, 11:56

Published: 28 Apr 2010 11:56 GMT+02:00

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Sinn from the influential Ifo economics institute said Wednesday.

The warning came as a new poll showed nearly two-thirds of Germans were opposed to helping Greece, with a majority believing that membership of the EU brought more disadvantages than advantages.

Asked on MDR radio if Berlin would ever get its money back, Sinn, who heads the Ifo institute and is one of the top economic advisers to the government, said: "To tell you the truth, no."

Greece "will not be in a position to carry out the necessary budgetary rigour" and will eventually have "to ask for Germany to waive the debt," he said.

He warned that bailing out Greece could set a precedent for other euro area countries labouring under high debt and public deficits.

"It would be understandable if the Italians or the Spanish put pressure on us to pay up now because it is an important precedent for them," said Sinn.

The survey, by the Allensbach Institute and published in the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, suggested that the German people shared Sinn's

fear of contagion.

Three out of five people questioned said that a similar crisis to that raging in Greece could occur in another eurozone country, pointing in particular to Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland. The crisis is also affecting Germans' view of the European Union.

According to the survey, only 20 percent of people think the EU has brought more advantages than disadvantages, with 28 percent believing the reverse.

Nevertheless, more than eight years since the euro first came into their pockets, the Germans, so reluctant to give up their beloved and strong Deutsche mark, are becoming more and more used to the currency.

Story continues below…

The survey showed that 47 percent would rather have the mark back, down from 61 percent when euro notes and coins were introduced in 2002.

Sinn's comments came ahead of a flurry of meetings in Germany about whether to contribute to a €30-billion ($40-billion) eurozone aid package, which is deeply unpopular in the country.

Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold talks with, among others, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, which would also stump up billions.

Strauss-Kahn and European Central Bank chief, Jean-Claude Trichet, will also meet senior members of the German parliament to discuss the crisis in Greece, whose 10-year bond yield hit record highs Wednesday as the markets bet Athens will be forced to default on its debt.

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Your comments about this article

13:59 April 28, 2010 by berlinski
The sun rises on a new dawn, and once again, the begging bowl is passed to Germany to pay for the excesses of others. And Germany will complain, and it will grumble, but most of all, it will pay. Why? Because payment confers power. The EU might fundamentally be just a Franco-German club, a glorified Franconia, but the club president-paymaster still lives in Berlin. For the most intelligent, the most talented, the most resourceful and energetic people in Europe are those whose lands lie between the Oder and the Rhine.

15:20 April 28, 2010 by MunchingInMuenchen
Ahhh, yes, Hail to the Fatherland! I can hear the goose-stepping in the background as I read the neo-conservative, third reich-reaking, straight-out-of-Mein Kampf nonsense offered above. "The most talented, most resourceful and energetic people..." -- old Adolf would get an erection if he could read this crap. Instead of offering jingoistic vomit, look at the facts: Germany's economy stalled in the last quarter of 2009 and is still faltering, while France's grew nearly a full percent and the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are all doing even better. Be careful Herr Berlinski, that hand you're using to pat yourself on the back my be needed to reach out for help sometime soon. What comes around, goes around.
15:37 April 28, 2010 by berlinski
I didn't write that article, I am just posting it. I don't agree with a lot of it either, but the power play part rings true.
16:06 April 28, 2010 by William Thirteen
the sad truth is, much of the current chaos could have been prevented if Brussels & Berlin had come to the table at the beginning with proposals for the proper backing, oversight & guarantees. We would have paid - perhaps less than we will end up paying now - but would have saved everyone the thrashing that the EU markets now have to endure as a result of political deceit & demogoguery.
16:40 April 28, 2010 by mrsams
Come on MunchingInMuenchen (many names peschvogel etc..),don't attack the innocent guy .I know that when somebody mention here the success of Germans it immediately makes your blood pushing against the walls.Relax.
16:49 April 28, 2010 by wmm208
Perhaps Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland can be used as debt writeoffs? That money is never returning....Scahde...
17:10 April 28, 2010 by mrsams
ok some help.SCHADE
17:13 April 28, 2010 by wmm208
News Alert: Grece needs 120bn and not the previously mentioned 40bn. Now, the final question remains, could Germany ever leave the Eurozone and the EU?
17:21 April 28, 2010 by William Thirteen
don't waste your keystrokes - spelling, like reason, is not his forté...
17:31 April 28, 2010 by wmm208
Why is this girl annoucing she is locking her bicycle up to the post?
22:16 April 28, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Don't encourage him. He's simply deranged.
22:49 April 28, 2010 by wmm208
This is going to be so much fun.
00:42 April 29, 2010 by baltog
Hey, you Germans! you have to pay everyone on this planet you gaves you the permition of your existing,,,,the greeks (first), the Romans (for the langue), the Byzantins (for not eating with the hands), the Venetians (for the renesence), the Spanish (for Barock), the French (for the pragmatism), the Turkish (for the workers)!!!!
00:48 April 29, 2010 by wmm208
baltog: Wow, thats so many donations. However, i think Germany will only give money if they see self interests as well act out of self interests these days. The days of helping out former friends (WW2) are over. Its all about money these days....
10:45 April 29, 2010 by dbert4
Pschvogel - my compliments, you have established more bogus posting accounts then anyone in the history of "The Local".

And IF you could learn to spell, readers might not notice that they're all coming from the same person. Well, if they didn't notice your consistent anti-German ravings.

But no matter what your opinion,

"For the most intelligent, the most talented, the most resourceful and energetic people in Europe are those whose lands lie between the Oder and the Rhine."
17:59 April 29, 2010 by wmm208
"For the most intelligent, the most talented, the most resourceful and energetic people in Europe are those whose lands lie between the Oder and the Rhine."

I suppose some self boasting would help when others dont give you compliments. Glad you think highly of yourself. Nobody else does...
00:12 April 30, 2010 by Prufrock2010
You gotta hand it to peschvogel (aka wmm208 and now baltog). Not for the content, mind you, but for establishing different IP adressses for his multiple aliases. Even Shakespeare employed comic relief.
01:35 April 30, 2010 by baltog
Ok lets say the true! Germany is a very important country! The biggest HELLENIC studies are german! The most important classical archeologist are germans!! BUT from the other hand the "prototype- caricature" of the :lasy-gyros" greeks simply DONT exist. The Greeks works hard till late for defending their life (party) style. The german pre-election inflexibility in this time is catastrophic!!

I live in Athens and a sentiment of "german punishment" is in the air! and this is VERY uncomfortable!(becouse of the past).

Dont push normal well educated people in extreme possitions! Lets preserve the ruins of our european mentality!
03:59 April 30, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Self-boasting? I believe the writer was Irish, not german. However, if I've misinterpreted your point somehow, it's probably because you didn't actually make one.

These comment sections are turning into pure idiocy.
10:31 April 30, 2010 by mrsams
This troop(baltog ,peschvogel etc..) unfortunately only one.Really need fresh air outside.
20:40 April 30, 2010 by wmm208
Pay, pay, pay......
23:05 May 3, 2010 by baltog
mrsams ..baltog (me) and peschvogel ..we are not the same person. If you need fresh air come to the cycladic islands (pay,pay,pay) and then if your symptoms persists go to your Psy for further investigation...
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