June 19 (EIRNS)–The Greek semi-official press agency, ANA-MPA runs a 12-minute interview with former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who calls for the cancellation of a large part of the unpayable Greek debt. His statement is all the most interesting in that it comes only days after the June 13-14 Schiller Institute Conference in Paris, where Lyndon LaRouche pointed to former German Chancellors Helmut Schmidt and Gerhard Schröder, and incumbent SPD Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as playing key roles in preventing the danger of a global war in which the Greek crisis could serve as a trigger.
Saying an unorganized “Grexit,” Greece exit from the euro area, could lead to disaster, Schmidt said that Greece should never have joined the Eurozone, and that if it still had its own currency the drachma, its problem could have been solved in an easier way. But on the debt he was clear.
When asked his thoughts on a cancellation of Greek debt, after the model of the London Debt Agreement in 1953 on Germany’s prewar debt, Schmidt urged, “I want to tell you that I think it is completely excluded that Greece will be able to repay its debt. The majority of it should be canceled.”
On the issue of German war reparations to Greece, he said that since Greece did not participate with the U.S., Britain, France, and the Soviet Union, which came to a treaty agreement with Germany, the “2+4” treaty, not to receive war reparations except for payment to the Soviet Union, Schmidt said that the views of the Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis cannot be considered totally erroneous in all cases. “I do not believe that these claims for compensation have been closed legally and politically.”
It was a mistake for Greece to have joined the Eurozone in 1991 at Maastricht, he said, but continued that that can be rectified retrospectively in a coordinated manner; if it happens in a disorderly fashion, it will have devastating effects. He added, “The wisdom of the creditors of Greece is not particularly great.”
He offered his own proposal, saying, “We need a European investment program for the benefit of Greece, which can be financed not only from Germany but also via an agreement to write off a large part of the accumulated debt of Greece.”
He also made clear that it is “nonsense” to say that the German people have been “bled” by Greece, which is what Germans read every day in the lying media….