A New Treaty of Versailles?


A week after the election of Alexis Tsipras, Germany and Greece are arm wrestling over the debt situation and some politicians do not hesitate to assimilate the policy of Angela Merkel with the third Reich.

La Grèce peut-elle changer l'Europe ?

Picture taken from the website “Latribune”

Hopes are high among the Greek population, after the victory of a radical left leader. The inhabitants expect the situation is going to evolve in a country with a 175% of GDP debt and a 26 % rate of unemployment. These last years, Greece has been negotiating with the European Union, and especially Germany, so as to reduce the debt. The negotiations are increasingly strained.

As the “Washington Post” reported, Tsipras traveled on the memorial site at the range Kaisariani, where in 1944 Nazi soldiers executed some 200 Greek militants in retaliation for the death of a German officer killed in a Greek ambush. It was his first act as Prime minister. Syriza has been outspoken about the need for Germany to atone for his past in Greece, or at least show a little more leniency now as compensation. “We will ask for debt reduction, and the money in Germany we must start from the Second World War, including repairs,” he said earlier this month. It was total war global dimensions, a war of extreme violence in which entire populations were destroyed through the establishment of a systematic extermination policy.

One of the main factors of WW2 was the Treaty of Versailles. In “The Economic Consequences of the Peace”, John Maynard Keynes demonstrated that the problem was that the reparations Germany had to pay were so big that the country would not be able to pay for it. He said that the treaty of Versailles would feed the German nationalism and would be dangerous. Finally, Germany did not pay for WW1. Today, we also know that the peace of 1919 was a time bomb and yesterday’s Germany is the Greece of today.

It is evident that today the roles have changed. Germany became the most powerful country in the European Union and defeated Nazism. The recent event makes us take conscience that history repeats itself. The situation Greece is facing today is very similar to Germany’s situation during the 20’s. The population suffers from rules established by other countries and this idea led Germany to a totalitarian government. The “German bashing” in Greece is really threatening and Germany knows better than others that it is dangerous to impose rules to a population. It is evident that the European Crisis will be solved by encouraging dialog between Germany and Greece because both ways of behaving are risky, but also with the rest of the European Union, so as to avoid the dangerous lack of communication like during the 20’s.

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