Thomas Piketty Gives Merkel a History Lesson

The economist Thomas Piketty, who gained fame last year as the author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, reminds Merkel, “It was in the 1950s, he notes, that Germany benefited from a massive — and, in those days, surprisingly common — round of debt forgiveness that catapulted its rise into a peaceful economic power. Greece was one of the nations forgiving Germany’s debts. In other words, Piketty suggested, when it comes to how to handle Greece in 2015, the best argument against Germany might be … Germany, circa 1953.” Piketty is right, of course, but I doubt Angela Merkel will change her stance. She seems determined to punish Greece even if it makes things worse not just for Greeks, but for all of Europe.

Read Piketty’s history lesson here:  Thomas Piketty accuses Germany of forgetting history as it lectures Greece – The Washington Post.

“FILE – In this Feb. 27, 1953 file photo, the German Debts Agreement is signed in London. Though Germany is resisting Greece’s pleas for some relief, it should know better than most what it can achieve. After the hell of World War II, the Federal Republic of Germany – more commonly known as West Germany – got massive help from its former foes, among them Greece. The agreement, in which Greece and about 20 other countries effectively wrote off a large chunk of Germany’s loans and restructured the rest, is a landmark case that shows how effective debt relief can be. It helped spark what became known as the German economic miracle. (AP Photo, file)”

2 thoughts on “Thomas Piketty Gives Merkel a History Lesson

  1. One has to keep in mind, that only the western part of Germany was “amnestied” as every move was justified to forward the cold war.
    Also not to forget the dismantelment of the German heavy industry.


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