OPINION

Setting the record straight on Germany

The letter from Mr George Frangopulos («Not just Greeks to blame for country’s financial problems» on September 22), which contained many distorted facts and unjustified assumptions and used unfriendly, if not to say malicious, language, cannot be left unanswered. Mr Frangopulos tries to create the impression that any bribes allegedly paid by Siemens had been obtruded by the latter on the recipients instead of being requested by them. Submarines ordered by the Greek navy did not have «serious faults» since only one submarine has been built until now, the alleged faults of which are contested. «Teutonic financial discipline» is certainly preferable to Greek creative accounting and doctored statistics. Not only German but other leading international economists and financial experts had recommended that Greece return to the drachma in order to be more flexible financially. It is true that German professors of law and economics filed a lawsuit with the German supreme court, claiming violations of the Maastricht Agreement by the bailout. Mr Frangopulos did, however, forget that a number of Greek institutions (the Athens Bar Association, ADEDY, several unions of pensioners) filed complaints with Greece’s Supreme Court against the bailout agreement concluded by Greece and the European Union, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, with the aim that this agreement, which constitutes the basis of the 110-billion-euro bailout loan be declared null and void. By the way, this agreement stipulates the terms and conditions for the financial help, these were not «attached» by Germany. In view of Mr Frangopulos’s reference to his «compatriot» Aristotle, may I recommend that he study the Nicomachean Ethics of the great philosopher, especially his comments on gratitude. DR HANSGEORG BLECHSHMID, Parikia, Paros