Campaigners have marked the sixtieth anniversary of Germany's historic post-war debt cancellation by demanding an end to the policies being imposed on indebted countries by the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.
German, Irish, Spanish and British anti-debt advocates have said Germany's 1953 debt cancellation, agreed by countries including the US, UK, France, Greece, Spain and Pakistan prove that the Troika's policies in Europe will continue to have a disastrous impact.
The debt cancellation contrasts markedly with how debtor countries such as Greece, Ireland and Spain are being treated today, including by Germany, their largest creditor.
While Germany was given deep, comprehensive debt cancellation, peripheral European countries today have had very late, fragmented and shallow relief, if any. While Germany's debt repayments were limited to three per cent of export earnings, Greece today is spending 30 per cent.
Germany was offered negotiation to deal with further problems, but in the meantime southern Europe has faced harsh and undemocratic sanctions.
Nick Dearden, director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign, commented: “The debt deal made with Germany in 1953 meant western Europe was reconstructed successfully and thrived. Today Europe has been forced into its worst crisis since the Second World War by the actions of Europe's leaders.
“If we had no evidence of how to solve a debt crisis equitably, we could perhaps regard the policies of Europe's leaders as misguided. But we have the positive example of Germany 60 years ago, and the devastating example of the Latin American debt crisis 30 years ago. The actions of Europe's leaders are nothing short of criminal,” he added.
* More here - 'History shows why the Eurozone debt crisis is mounting': http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/18062
* Jubilee Debt Campaign: http://www.jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk/