Friday, June 5, 2015

Greek Government Gets On Martin Schulz's Nerves

It was only a question of time until someone would lose his cool and say it. And it was a question of who that someone would be.

Well, that 'someone' was Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, and in Maybrit Illner's talkshow on ZDF, Schulz said the following to Giorgos Chondros who represented SYRIZA in the discussion:

"I would like to, if you permit me, say one sentence about the Greek government. They really do,from time to time, - please excuse me for saying so - they do get badly on my nerves, whether it is Mr. Varoufakis or someone else."


  1. What is particularly problematic is that a German has said this. Unfortunately, it reflects how incapable Germany is to lead the EU into a better direction. It is also inappropriate in formal constitutional terms for any President of the European Parliament to comment in this way on any member state. The Germans are out of control, and need to learn a little self-discipline (as opposed to preaching it to others).

    1. Oh? Since when it is a privilege for Tsipras and Varoufakis, Lafazanos and all the others, to talk about others as Martin Schulz did, even worse!? IF Angela Merkel would have had the same attitude as you, you would not even have been discussing this, here, because Greece would already have been in the exit, and this article never written.

      Do not answer me before having read your patriot's book: “On the Unhappiness of being Greek”.
      Dare to watch into yourself, in your own mirror, via the book, and find the reason WHY Greeks, and you, as always, accuse Germans. All, who are NOT Greek.

      Stop your bullshit. It is allowed to name it as it is, so I say it as it is, shameless, with fair anger. It does not work to be decent.
      Eat it.
      And name your name, dare to write as yourself, instead of hiding behind: "Guest"(xenos).
      Schulz was not hiding, and even if you had all the reasons to accuse him, even to be German by birth, he is not under cover and so courageous to say what he has to say. Decent. True. Is it allowed then to lie, like your PM is doing to his entire government?
      Behaving as King Alexis?
      All that is allowed? Did you analyze HIM? He is Greek, and well.... is that, HIS behavior, belonging generally to Greeks? Are you the same?
      The same caliber. The same content. The same hatred. The same never ending blaming.

    2. @ Antoinette
      If you are so interested in his identity, all you have to do is to click on his name.

    3. @Antoinette. I read the book by Dimou many years ago and found it very interesting. He is not my compatriot.

      And you seem to think that Merkel has as much power as Adolf Hitler: this is patently not the case. Germany has not acquitted itself honourably in this terrible mess, and Schulz merely adds to the problem. The role of President of a Parliament is an important constitutional one, and automatically deprives the individual of the right to make personal statements in public. Apparently, Germans now think that they can do and say as they like -- just as they did in the Nazi period. This is a foolish error.

      Your attacks on Tsipras are completely irrelevant. He is the elected prime minister of Greece,and his job is to negotiate and protect Greece and the Greek people. That is what he is trying to do, and it up to the Greek people -- not you or I -- to determine if he is doing that job well.

  2. I'd be curious to know the context. This quote is far too short to draw any conclusion.

  3. xenos and quite a substantial part of Greeks are living in kind of a parallel universe.
    Ask ANY person from any slightly developed country who wants/wanted to do business in Greece and he will tell you that he absolutely can relate to Mr. Schulz. Only very, very few would not have lost their nerves long time before Mr. Schulz/"the Germans".
    Do not be mistaken: I adore Greece as well as Greek people and most facettes of their mentality. But I have a huge problem when someone thinks that he can (constantly!?!) outsmart me. That it is his "obligation" to outsmart whomever.
    TAKE THAT and digest it thoroughly!

    1. @Anonymous. Like the indefatigable Antoinette, you completely miss the point. Persons from slightly developed countries (whatever those are) interested to do business in Greece are quite entitled to make the remark that Schulz made. Quite what good it would do them, I fail to see -- but that is their right.

      That right is not held by Schulz owing to his position as President of the European Parliament. If he wishes to exercise it as a personal right, he needs to resign his position first. As it stands, his comments amount to abuse of power. Germans, of all European nations, should be aware of the great dangers inherent in this lack of self-discipline by holders of political power. It seems that some peoples never learn.

    2. "As it stands, his comments amount to abuse of power. Germans, of all European nations, should be aware of the great dangers inherent in this lack of self-discipline by holders of political power. It seems that some peoples never learn."

      Just your ordinary anglo-syriza style anti-german rumble again. Pseudo-intelligence doesn't make hatred less hatred.

    3. @Anonymous, June 7. I am unclear what you think your neologism "pseudo-intelligence" means, but I can assure you that your comments are neither intelligent nor pseudo-intelligent. They are mere platitudes supporting the eurozone/German position -- social conformism of the sheep variety.

      If you have a sensible reply to the comment I have made about formal political positions, then kindly post it.

  4. I certainly do not always agree with Mr Schulz. But in this case I really understand him. He has not only a right to say openly what he thinks - in the decent way that he did - ,we should be grateful for it. It is indeed refreshing in this debate that at least sometimes you can have the feeling that a politician thinks what he says.

  5. The reader "Che" made the comment below on KeepTalkingGreece. I think it's worth reading because, except for the one sentence, Schulz was really rather understanding and supportive of SYRIZA.

    "Oh comeone KTG you can do so much better. I like it when you present hard data and I have no problems with any opinion pieces(whether I agree with them or not) but short quotes, that are out of context and even flat out wrong suck.
    I watched a bit of that even before I saw your post and Ive seen Schulz before, youll hardly find any other german politician that has so often stressed that solidarity is needed.
    Thats the talk show I didnt watch all of it but at 21:30 ist the moment you cite. Ill translate it correctly and then you guys tell me what you think.
    21:34 Schulz: If youll allow it i want to say one sentence about the greek GOVERNMENT. Please dont be offended Mr Chondros when I say it like that. Sometimes they really get on my nerves, whether its Mr. Varoufakis or someone else.
    21:48 You have to say one thing in defence of this Government… they are in office for 6 month. The problems that greece has were NOT caused by this government but by their predecessors, whether they were socialdemocratic or conservative, they were the one that failed. And Syriza has inherited a huge burden.
    22:07 What I dont understand is what Syriza does. During the biggest crisis of this country, the richest greek mangaed to send 120billion€ out of the country. We only ever talk about cuts on social security, cuts on wages, when will start talking about that we need a tax system in europe that will ensure that not the small people in greece or germany ..
    22:30 Mr Chondros: But that should be done by the Union, why are you blaming Syriza?
    …little bit of hassle between the two
    22:58 When will we get the chance in europe to stop the fact that the german small savers or the greek dockworkers have to pay the price for the fact that we saved a banking system, whichs meltdown wouldve hurt germans and others very badly, which is why we stabilized it with billions. And when will finally get to the point where billion heavy capitalowners will no longer be able to move their money away to other countrys, when do we start talking about the income part of the equation(as opposed to cuts). If the greek government had collected only 10% of those 120billion this would be a totally different debate.

    So whether you agree with his opinions or not, he never insulted the greek people, he vented frustration about the fact that your government(in his eyes) doesnt do enough to prevent tax fraud by the super rich. Plus he actually defends Syriza in that he say theire not responsible for the mistakes of the previous goverments even though they will have to deal with the fallout."

  6. Hear,hear. by Xenos definition all Greek politicians should resign their positions. Greek politicians talk with food in their mouth, otherwise they would starve to death.

    1. I suggest that you look up the word "definition" in a dictionary before using it in a sentence. If you cannot tell the difference between a European polity (and the president of its parliament) and a national polity (and its national politicians), then it seems likely to me that you also don't know your arse from your elbow.

      Your blatant attacks on Greeks, or on me, merely reflect your own propagandistic and rather closed mind.

  7. While I share your views on Guest, my views on Greeks is much more complicated and scary. You are right when you say they live in a parallel universe, but at the same time they live in the same universe as you do. There is the person they want to be and present themselves as, and the person they know they are. Not even close friends and family are introduced to both persons. That allow them to suffer megalomania and low self esteem, AT THE SAME TIME. Fiction like The Picture of Dorian Grey or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde becomes kid stuff compared with daily life in Greece. Just watch Tsipras and Varoufakis vacillation between threats and begging.

    1. It's called negotiating style, but it's rather more complex in the political world than in business. That may be why you cannot understand it.

      Kindly bear in mind that I am no propagandist for Syriza: I merely respond to the hysterical neoliberal and pro-German rubbish that seems to prevail over the internet.