Handelsblatt: Debt forgiveness for Germany 1953 applicable to Greece in the modern day

4 April 2017
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Handelsblatt on Monday pointed directly to the landmark 1953 London Agreement, which essentially forgave post-war Germany’s external debts, as applicable in the present day to the Greek debt crisis.

In again wading in on the ongoing and very high-profile disagreement between the IMF and the German finance ministry over the need for Greek debt
relief, Handelsblatt cites noted French economist Thomas Piketty and his equally well-known US counterpart, Jeffrey Sachs, as stressing that the current economic situation in Greece resembles post-WWII Germany. The latter was again struggling to service debts accumulated in an unprecedented military conflagration – the second time in a century.

An article by the pair points to a conclusion by a British-US research team, which maintains that debt forgiveness allowed a war-ravaged Germany to economically surpass its European peers, most of who benefited to a greater degree from the US-allocated Marshall Plan. The article also refers to findings by LSE professor Albrecht Ritschl, who argues that the German post-war “economic miracle” relied on a stable deutschemark and a drastic debt ‘haircut’.

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