Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Opinion Letters

History shows we should be good to Greece

Published 06/07/2015

HOW quickly the lessons of history are discarded. The European powers have forgotten how in 1919 in the wake of the First World War, Germany was humiliated and beggared by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

The conditions of this treaty resulted in hardship, loss of sovereignty and social cohesion in Germany, sowing the seeds for the rise of the Nazi party.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the lessons had been learned, but at the cost of 65 million lives, and the Marshall plan was very favourable towards Germany, with direct aid and debt forgiveness designed to reconstitute the country's economy.

A similar benign policy could have been offered to Greece, by parking chunks of their ludicrous debt, with future repayments based on a percentage of Greek export profits, generated as the economy recovered.

Europe needs a strong, healthy Greece. It is a strategically important nation, acting as a bulwark between Europe and the encroaching borders of the caliphate which Islamic State fanatics are bent on expanding - not to mention the growing risk of pushing Greece into the arms of bellicose Russia.

BERNARD GUINAN

By email

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph