H ιστορία των πολεμικών αποζημιώσεων του Δεύτερου ΠΠ με εκνευρίζει. Όχι επειδή δεν είμαι πατριώτης, ούτε επειδή δεν αναγνωρίζω απίστευτες ανθρώπινες ιστορίες και αδικίες που κρύβουν. Αλλά επειδή θεωρώ ότι αποκλείεται ποτέ να δικαιωθεί τέτοιο αίτημα. Βέβαια, το “αποκλείεται” των πολλών, έχει ανατραπεί στο παρελθόν. Προς τιμή τους, τουλάχιστον ψάχνω να ενημερωθώ περισσότερο. Διαβάζω λοιπόν στο βιβλίο “state Insolvency and Foreign Bondholders: Selected Case Histories ” του William H. Wynne σχετικά με την υπόθεση των πολεμικών αποζημιώσεων που πλήρωσε η Ελλάδα στην Τουρκία το 1897.
“The Greek forces were quickly and decisively beaten and, to avert greater disaster, Greece accepted the mediation of the powers. The latter thereupon requested Turkey to suspend hostilities. As conditions
of compliance, the Porte demanded an indemnity of 10,000,000 Turkish pounds and the retrocession of Thessaly, which its troops were then occupying. The powers refused to concede anything beyond a simple rectification of the frontier based on strategical considerations and a moderate war indemnity adjusted to the financial resources of Greece. These terms Turkey was obliged to accept and on June 3, 1897, the peace negotiations began.21 In accordance with the report of a commission which they appointed to investigate the financial position of Greece, the powers fixed the indemnity at 4,000,000 Turkish pounds and resolutely refused to raise this sum.
It was impossible for Greece to pay even this moderate indemnity without the aid of a foreign loan but, on account of the default, new Greek issues were barred from European markets. In order to raise a
loan it was essential for Greece, therefore, both to offer adequate security and to effect a composition with her creditors. In the light of this situation the peace negotiations took a new turn. As early as October, 1893, German holders of Greek bonds had demanded international financial control of Greek finances. The Imperial Chancellor, whom they petitioned, refused to support their demand and three years of unsuccessful negotiations by the bondholders’ committees followed. During this period the German press was extremely hostile to Greece and pressed more and more insistently for international financial control. By 1897 the Reich was ready to support the German bondholders to the full.
Seizing the opportunity afforded by the Turkish victory, the intervention of the powers, and the plight of Greece with respect to the indemnity, the German Government instructed its ambassador at Constantinople to propose the introduction into the draft of Article 2 of the peace preliminaries, providing for the payment of an indemnity, of clauses protecting the rights of the holders of Greek bonds and providing for the establishment at Athens of an international commission of control. The ambassadors of the other powers objected that a stipulation for such
control in Greece was out of place in a treaty of peace with Turkey but the Cabinet at Berlin remained obdurate and, in order to avert the threatened rupture of the European concert, they agreed to the German proposal. Thoroughly alarmed, Greece sent a representative to Berlin with an offer to her creditors to cede to the monopoly company all the revenues which might be assigned to the service of the new loan and the old debts and to give the bondholders a majority representation on its administrative council. This was practically what the committees had proposed in 1894 but it had become too late to seek any such avenue of escape from international control and the representatives of the bondholders, acting presumably under higher instructions, declared that the matter was now out of their hands.
While Germany made it her first business during the peace negotiαtions to protect the interests of the bondholders, the other powers—especially Great Britain—sought primarily to ensure the speedy evacua
tion of Thessaly. But Turkey refused to withdraw her troops until the indemnity was paid. It became necessary, therefore, for the powers to take steps to ensure that Greece would be able to secure a loan for discharge of the indemnity. Convinced that the credit of Greece stood so low that she would be unable to raise a loan without the guaranty of a solvent power, the British Government invited the governments of France and Russia to join it in guaranteeing a loan.30 France and Russia
took the view that, given proper security, a guaranty was not essential, and the three powers accordingly invited Greece to state what revenues she was prepared to assign to the proposed international commission as security for the loan. Germany, however, objected to the consideration of hypothecations until the establishment of the financial control was ensured.”
Μετά τους Ρωμαίους και τους Καρθαγένειους, νομίζω ότι αυτή η περίπτωση είναι η πρώτη που ξέρω στην σύγχρονη ιστορία με πολεμικές αποζημιώσεις. Άντε κάτι αποικιοκρατικά κόλπα παλιότερα με Κινέζους και Αφγανούς που τους έβαζαν Άγγλοι, Γάλλοι και λοιποί να τους πληρώνουν ζημιές αν έκαναν επανάσταση…
Το ακριβές κείμενο της συμφωνίας θυμίζει λίγο…Τρόικα:
The necessary arrangement for facilitating the speedy payment of the indemnity shall be made with the assent of the Powers in such a manner as not to injure the rights acquired by the old creditors who hold bonds of the Public Debt of Greece.
For this purpose an International Commission shall be instituted at Athens, composed of the Representatives of the Mediating Powers, one member being appointed by each Power. The Hellenic Government shall pass a law, which shall previously be accepted by the Powers, regulating the working of the Commission and according to which the collection and employment of revenues sufficient for the service of the war indemnity loan and the other national debts shall be placed under the absolute control nf thp said Commission.”