I dedicate this post to our friend Magda Mortoglu, who posted a beautiful thread on the Greek crisis and the hopes which Kavafis' poetry can inspire.
Lots of conspiracy theories about the various angles of this financial debacle and its rescue... a friend of mine emailed me the following (have not verified the veracity of the statements/data):
Question: who is the third biggest arms importer in the world, behind India and China.
Question: If Greece had spent the EU average on defense over the past 10 years (1.7% of GDP) instead of the 4% of GDP it spent... how much money would it have saved?
Answer: € 150bn... i.e. 52% of GDP
So why are Germany and France not demanding that Greece cut its defense spending... a residual fear of neighbours or perhaps something else?
Question: In the period Protected content country was Germany's largest market for munitions?
Answer: Greece... which accounted for 15% of total German sales
Questoin: In the same period, which country was France's largest arms export market in Europe (and its third largest overall)?
Question: In Protected content data available) social spending in Greece was cut by €1.8bn... how much did military spending change?
a) Decreased by €900m
b) No change
c) Increase by €900m
Another friend reminded that he pointed out the same thing at the time that the first Greek rescue had been announced... which had (almost) coincided with the Greek announcement of the (forced?) purchase of German submarines... a purchase that had been rejected 2 years prior...
As I said... I have not verified (and therefore, cannot vouch for) the data and comments... But we have all heard of the benefits which the bigger economies have gained from exporting to the smaller countries... one of the reasons the French for example put pressure on Germany to be flexible... Well if this is true... make your own minds who the real bad guys are.... the bankers or the polititians?
Welll.... certainly not the poor Greek people