I probably should run this story past KOW’s actual German speaker but, what the hell, let’s throw caution to the wind and trust in Google Translate. On Zeitonline one finds this intriguing story, ‘Schöne Waffen für Athen‘, the gist of which:
1. If Greece gets the next big (80 billion Euro) tranche of IMF-EU bailout moulah in March; then,
2. it will be able to conclude a whole bunch of new defence contracts including, inter alia, new Eurofighter jets, frigates from France, submarines from Germany, and Apache helicopters from the USA.
This is on top of a whole heap of kit purchased, largely from Germany, but not yet paid for–Leopard 2 tanks, Eurocopter helicopters, M109 howitzers, phased plasma rifles in the 40 watt range…
In case you’ve missed it, the Greek economy is tanking. In the Guardian today one reads:
…Greece’s economy is being smashed by the heavy spending cuts and tax rises imposed since the country accepted its first IMF rescue package. And as if Greece didn’t have enough problems – Germany’s finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble has urged its leaders to hurry up and agree a debt-reduction deal with its creditors:
Schäuble told German radio that:
‘Greece…could go faster. We are pushing hard for that.
Greece has to implement what was agreed. All the rescue packages in the world can’t help if the causes are not tackled credibly.’
Now, it would be easy to get on the high horse here, and I must admit I find Schäuble’s words a little nauseating in context. The ‘rescue package’ for Greece has very little to do with rescuing Greece and everything to do with rescuing its creditors and those who have sold it guns on credit. But I’ve got to say if the money has to be spent I’d rather it was on guns than on paying people in ‘arduous’ professions (barbering, waitering) to retire at 50-55. I think they may find the former more useful since I reckon things are going to hell in a handbasket…