Revealed: Germany Made 100 Billion Euros from Greek Crisis

© AFP 2022 / LOUISA GOULIAMAKIA woman passes by the Bank of Greece headquarters where 'Greece' was changed to 'Berlin' during a 24-hour general strike in Athens on February 7, 2012.
A woman passes by the Bank of Greece headquarters where 'Greece' was changed to 'Berlin' during a 24-hour general strike in Athens on February 7, 2012. - Sputnik International
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The German government, which has taken a hard line on Greece, has saved some 100 billion euros ($109 billion) in the country’s financial crisis thanks to lower borrowing costs, a study has found.

Germany saved through lower interest payments on funds the government borrowed amid investor "flights to safety," the German-based non-profit Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) said in its paper published Monday.

"These savings exceed the costs of the crisis – even if Greece were to default on its entire debt," the study said. "Germany has clearly benefited from the Greek crisis."

In the face of turmoil, investors seeking a safe haven for their money within the euro zone turned to export champion Germany, which "disproportionately benefited" from that during the debt crisis, the IWH said.

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"Every time financial markets faced negative news on Greece in recent years, interest rates on German government bonds fell, and every time there was good news, they rose."

Germany, the euro zone's effective paymaster, has demanded fiscal discipline and tough economic reforms in Greece in return for consenting to new aid from international creditors, Agence France-Presse reported.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has opposed a Greek debt write-down while pointing to his own government's balanced budget.

The balanced budget, however, was facilitated largely by Germany's interest savings amid the Greek debt crisis, according to the study. The estimated 100 billion euros Germany saved since 2010 accounted for more than 3% of GDP, according to the IHW.

"Even if Greece doesn't pay back a single cent, the German public purse has benefited financially from the crisis," said the paper.

At the same time, the bonds of other countries – including the United States, France and the Netherlands – also benefited, but "to a much smaller extent.”

Greece and its creditors are working on the draft of a new bailout of up to 86 billion euros ($94 billion) in exchange for further reforms, AFP reported. They are aiming for a deal before Greece must repay 3.4 billion euros to the European Central Bank on August 20.

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