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Post by BubbleBliss on Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:34 pm

'Reparation Payments Remain an Open Question'

Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, 41, talks to SPIEGEL about his country's strained relations with Germany, possible reparations for the Nazi era and Athens' struggle to emerge from its debt crisis.

SPIEGEL: Many in Germany currently describe your country as a den of iniquity plagued by nepotism, corruption and tax evasion. Athens has responded with Nazi-related accusations. How strained are the relations between the two countries?

Dimitris Droutsas: Greece's relationship with Germany is excellent, as always. Over the past few days, the atmosphere has been characterized by tensions on a media level, on both sides. Our citizens are facing hard times, and they know that. They also have the feeling, however, that they have already achieved a certain amount. Nevertheless, they feel pressure and hear mainly criticism, sometimes also scorn and ridicule. This has caused emotions to boil over -- and led to misunderstandings.

SPIEGEL: Greece's deputy prime minister, Theodoros Pangalos, couldn't help mentioning that the German occupying forces during World War II took the Greeks' gold and "never paid it back." And the president of the Greek parliament, Philippos Petsalnikos, even summoned the German ambassador.

Droutsas: This shows that the Greek population felt genuinely annoyed. But I am certain that this does not reflect the true relationship between the two countries.

SPIEGEL: During the German occupation, Hitler forced the Greeks to grant a "war loan" to pay for the Wehrmacht, and when the Germans withdrew, the remaining debt was the equivalent of roughly €5 billion ($6.8 billion). Is the bill still unpaid?

Droutsas: When emotions come into play, feelings and recollections from the past tend to surface. The Greeks suffered greatly during World War II …

SPIEGEL: … which is why 66 Greek communities are still suing for some €11 billion in compensation for Nazi massacres, such as in Distomo and Kalavryta. Even the International Court of Justice in The Hague is hearing these cases.

Droutsas: As far as we are concerned, reparation payments from Germany still remain an open question -- that is correct. Prime Minister George Papandreou has also confirmed this in parliament. But we are in no way linking this to our efforts to improve Greece's finances.

SPIEGEL: Isn't the attempt to remind people of German history a diversionary tactic?

Droutsas: The issues are now open and on the table. And when a debate becomes so intensely emotional, they are exploited accordingly. But both sides will not allow themselves to be sidetracked by this debate.

SPIEGEL: Should EU countries like Germany and France step in if Greece does not receive sufficient money on the financial markets at acceptable conditions?

Droutsas: No, the Greek government has at no point in time demanded direct financial support from its EU partners, nor will it call for this. We are convinced that we can deal with this on our own.

SPIEGEL: And if not, what do you expect from the EU?

Droutsas: That they send a clear signal with a single voice: that Greece is on the right track with the measures it is taking. Our credibility is at stake here. We need absolute solidarity from our partners so that the financial markets calm down again.
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Post by TexasBlue on Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:03 pm

Reparations. ROFL
I'm all for it for survivors. It was like the Japanese-Americans that got reparations for being imprisoned for just having Japanese heritage back in the 40s. Blacks want reparations for slavery... something that happened over 200 years ago.

Affirmative Action is/was reparations for those who suffered under Jim Crow laws.

Now we have this from the Greeks?
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Post by BubbleBliss on Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:53 pm

What do you expect? The Greek government just got caught up majorly. It is pretty much already collapsed and come the new elections, you know there'll be a huge overhaul on the government level. People like that will always make claims like this to divert the attention.


Yeah, Native Americans have not received any reparations either.
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Post by TexasBlue on Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:27 am

BubbleBliss wrote:Yeah, Native Americans have not received any reparations either.

Are the Indians that were slaughtered still alive?

For the living ones, they get big time benefits. We discussed this before. What they choose to do with it is their choice.
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Post by BubbleBliss on Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:57 pm

Nope, but Native Americans are living in extreme poverty to this day because of decisions and violated treaties by the US gov't.
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Post by TexasBlue on Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:23 pm

They're in poverty because of personal choice. 50 years ago? I would agree with you.
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Post by BubbleBliss on Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:06 pm

Hmm... living on land that's not farm able to a good extend, being moved to land that you have no knowledge of how to live off of it, having the land that contained mineral wealth ceased by the Fed. gov't.
How do you expect somebody who, historically, has had no wealth to build up industry or anything of the sort? If people have no money, don't know how to efficiently use the land, and are not business men, how can you expect them to make a choice of just starting a business?
What are they supposed to do? Move to the city and live in the slums with everybody else that doesn't have a job?
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Post by TexasBlue on Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:47 am

BubbleBliss wrote:Hmm... living on land that's not farm able to a good extend, being moved to land that you have no knowledge of how to live off of it, having the land that contained mineral wealth ceased by the Fed. gov't.
How do you expect somebody who, historically, has had no wealth to build up industry or anything of the sort? If people have no money, don't know how to efficiently use the land, and are not business men, how can you expect them to make a choice of just starting a business?
What are they supposed to do? Move to the city and live in the slums with everybody else that doesn't have a job?

Geez. Tell that to the Indians on the White Earth Indian Reservation in north Minnesota. That land is prime farm land and always has been.

They're free to go where they want. They have many options that regular Americans don't have. If they want to go to college, it's free. NO cost! If i had that kind of option, i'd be well-off right now. Ooops. I forgot. Noody tells them or holds their hands to lead them to that trough. I forgot. My bad! ROFL

You keep making excuses for people to the point that i start laughing because it's insane!
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Post by BubbleBliss on Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:30 pm

Once again, I didn't say ALL Reservations are poor farmland. The fact is though that Tribes were located to areas they were not indigenous to. Tribes that were largely reliant on fish were moved to the Great Plains of the Midwest, etc.

Then, the US gov't gave them land. Most of it wasn't farmable and the US gov't didn't provide any assistance in teaching these people how to farm or use their land efficiently. The deal was that tribal members couldn't sell that land for 25 years, so they rented it out to Whites. Still struggling for money, the landowners sold most of their land to whites after 25 years. 80% of the land that used to belong to Native Americans is now owned by a non-native American.

Also, look at the quality of Native American schools. The ones who actually are successful and go to College never come back because there's no opportunity for them there. That's called the 'brain drain'. How can you build a functioning society if nobody is there to teach the community the basics of a functioning society? That's also why rural America is poor and underdeveloped compared to other parts of the US.

http://www.spotlightonpoverty.org/ExclusiveCommentary.aspx?id=0fe5c04e-fdbf-4718-980c-0373ba823da7
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Post by TexasBlue on Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:07 pm

Nobody told these people that they had to stay there either. People have personal responsibility, you know. My uncle (a Dem) stopped by this afternoon and we spoke of this topic here. I told him what you were saying and what i was saying. He doesn't agree with you at all. He's more politically astute than i am, btw.
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Post by BubbleBliss on Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:01 pm

Well then your uncle is wrong as well.

And actually, the Fed. gov't did force nomad tribes to settle down in order to integrate them into 'white' society more.
So yes, somebody DID in fact tell them had to stay there.
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Post by TexasBlue on Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:22 pm

BubbleBliss wrote:Well then your uncle is wrong as well.

And actually, the Fed. gov't did force nomad tribes to settle down in order to integrate them into 'white' society more.
So yes, somebody DID in fact tell them had to stay there.

Yeah, a 100 years ago.

Revisionist history again.
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Post by BubbleBliss on Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:13 pm

Well, when I tell you what happened back in the day, and you said that "nobody TOLD those people to stay there", it means that you thought that nobody forced them to be there back in the day, which is in fact wrong.
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