Obama criticizes German, French insistence on austerity during Greek debt crisis


Former US president Barack Obama has offered criticism of the governments in Germany and France for insisting on fiscal austerity during the years of Greece’s financial crisis.

“I noticed that they rarely mentioned that German and French banks were some of Greece’s biggest lenders, or that much of Greeks’ accumulated debt had been racked up buying German and French exports – facts that might have made clear to voters why saving the Greeks from default amounted to saving their own banks and industries,” Obama writes in his memoir “A Promised Land” released Tuesday.

“Maybe they worried that such an admission would turn voter attention away from failures of successive Greek governments and toward the failures of those German or French officials charged with supervising bank lending practices,” he writes.