Publikation International / Transnational - Western Europe - Europe for the many «Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks»

20 popular fallacies concerning the debt crisis (also in greek and finnish language)



luxemburg arguments


Stephan Kaufmann,


Antonella Muzzupappa, Sabine Nuss,


Juli 2011


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It’s that time again! Greece needs more loans and the governments in Europe are arguing about whether it’s really necessary and who should foot the bill. There is widespread opinion in Germany that Greece itself is to blame for the problems it now finds itself in. It first of all cheated its way into the Eurozone, then the government spent too much and the governed worked too little, many believe. Latently nationalistic patters of interpretation of this kind have been nourished by German politicians and the media, who have no end of proposals for how to «solve» the crisis. For example, the Greeks should save more, work more and sell their public property – and if all of these measures do not help, then Greece will just have to leave the Eurozone or declare itself bankrupt. The stupid thing is, neither are the causes of the crisis that have been named actually correct, nor will the proposed ways out of the crisis achieve their goal.

Table of contents

What is the crisis? False descriptions of the situation
1. «Greece has too many debts»
2. «The financial markets are scared that Greece will go bankrupt»

How did the crisis come about? Inaccurate research into the causes
3. «The Greeks are lazy»
4. «The Greeks are constantly on holiday»
5. «We are paying luxury pensions to the Greeks»
6. «The Greeks have been feathering their own nest well»
7. «The Greeks have been living above their means»
8. «The Greek state is over-inflated»
9. «Greece is not capable of competing»
10. «The Greeks are corrupt»

The way forward? False solutions
11. «The Greeks should start saving before we help them again»
12. «Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks!»
13. «The creditors should foot the bill!»
14. «Greece should get out of the Eurozone»
15. «Greece has to win back the trust of the financial markets»

The role of the Germans: False friends
16. «We want to be friends with the Greeks»
17. «You should help your friends – but not bail them out»
18. «No German tax euros for Greece!»
19. «We are the paymasters of Europe»

One last comment
20. «Greece cheated its way into the Eurozone – ‹We are now paying the price for our indulgence›»

The text arose from the RLF-Project «Let's talk about alternatives...» in cooperation with the department for Public Relations of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation.

Other languages:

Dr. Sabine Nuss, Dr. Lutz Brangsch
Franz-Mehring-Platz 1, 10243 Berlin
Tel. +49(0)30 44310-448