x

Politics

Greek Ex-Minister Advises Germany: Sell Islands to Fix Budget Woes

ATHENS – Panagiotis Lafazanis, a minister for a SYRIZA Radical Left government that ruled from 2015-19 hasn’t forgotten the humiliation Germany heaped on Greece when it was seeking bailouts depending on Germany’s banks and government.

There was a particularly demeaning headline in the German tabloid Bild in 2010 when Greece was under a PASOK Socialist government that said: “Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks! And sell the Acropolis, too!”

With Germany’s economy having budget problems and Greece’s roaring back and outstripping Germany’s, he offered a suggestion to Greece’s creditor, turnabout being fair play: sell a couple of your islands, said The Financial times.

https://www.ft.com/content/664102c0-af89-4312-aa4b-6c3b3873e308

And he told it to Bild after Germany’s constitutional court ruled that Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government had broken the law by trying to use 60 billion euros ($65.23 billion) in unused pandemic funds.

Scholz wanted the money to fight climate change and modernize industry but the court decision has put his plans in disarray, much to the delight of Lafazanis, who broke off from SYRIZA to form his own party that didn’t register.

Other ideas he threw out, tongue no doubt in cheek: impose emergency taxes on businesses and individuals might be too disruptive so selling assets – including islands – seems just about right.

Referring to austerity demanded of Greece in return for three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($354.40) from 2010-2018, Lafazanis added: “Life takes revenge. Germany will now experience what it imposed on Greece.”

He didn’t specify which islands but the report said he may have been thinking of

Rügen, a popular Baltic Sea tourist spot that was in former chancellor Angela Merkel’s constituency when she was rough on Greece.

One Munich newspaper called the proposal of Lafazanis “a perfidious sideswipe” at Germany. Greece didn’t see any islands – nor the Acropolis, of course – to deal with debt, the bailouts ending in 2018 and Greece’s comeback under way.

RELATED

ATHENS - On the one-year grim anniversary of a head-on train crash just outside a tunnel in central Greece, which killed 57 people, promises made in the immediate aftermath to add long-delayed safety measures haven’t been met.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

NYC Officials Shutter Furniture Store Illegally Converted to House More than 40 Migrants

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City furniture store that had been illegally converted into sleeping quarters for more than 40 migrants has been shut down by city officials.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to decide whether former President Donald Trump can be prosecuted on charges he interfered with the 2020 election and set a course for a quick resolution.

ATHENS - On the one-year grim anniversary of a head-on train crash just outside a tunnel in central Greece, which killed 57 people, promises made in the immediate aftermath to add long-delayed safety measures haven’t been met.

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans have blocked legislation that would protect access to in vitro fertilization, objecting to a vote on the issue Wednesday even after widespread backlash to a recent ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court that threatens the practice.

KUNA, Idaho  — Idaho halted the execution of serial killer Thomas Eugene Creech on Wednesday after medical team members repeatedly failed to find a vein where they could establish an intravenous line to carry out the lethal injection.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.