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"Dr. Brüning assumed office on March 29th, 1930, with a damnosa hereditas in the shape of the Young Plan, which had been negotiated by his predecessors, and the complete absence of any Budget. In view of the continued refusal of the Reichstag to take the financial situation seriously, Dr. Brüning in July, 1930, took the extreme step of advising President von Hindenburg to utilise his power under Article 48 of the Constitution to prorogue the Reichstag. For the subsequent two years the financial policy of Germany has been directed through a series of Emergency Decrees which by means of a system of increased taxation and drastic economy essayed to balance the Budget. Salaries of civil servants were cut to a point of 10 per cent to 13 1/2 per cent, lower than they were during the years 1927-1930, and the salaries of Reichsministers were decreased by 30 per cent. (...) at the beggining of June 1931 the deficit on the Budget was estimated at some £ 47 million. It was at this moment that Dr. Brüning came to London to the Chequers Conference. For some weeks before he had been urgently advised to declare the inability of Germany to meet her Reparations payments even without the ninety days´notice required under the Young Plan. (...) There can be no doubt, however, that both official and public opinion in Germany expected and believed that he would return from England with the approval of the British Government for the declaration of a moratorium, and it was in preparation for this both at home and abroad that President vom Hindenburg´s Manifesto to the German people was issued on June 6th. (...) These burdens of taxation and economy cuts, together with the complete lack of sucess of German´s foreign policy, provided ample grist for the Nazi mills." - John W. Wheeler-Bennett, The German Political Situation - Address given at the Chatham House on June 20th, 1932, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1931-1939), Vol. 11. No. 4 (Jul. 1932), p. 460-472


"Debt crises made the major international depression - the world slump of 1929-32 - much more severe and damaged the international political order. The German collapse is a terrifying demonstration of the long-run political as well as economic effect of debt crises. The German central state and the municipalities had borrowed so much that already in 1929 the most conservative and respectable American bankers had become skeptical about German conditions. `The Germans,` J. P. Morgan, Jr., concluded pithily, were fundamentally `second-rate people`, and he stopped his house from lending. (...) In the summer of 1931, a crisis erupted - caused by massive German capital flight and by German fears of political instability. (...) Despite their restraint in the crisis, the foregin banks were blamed for the collapses (a characteristic illustration of the first principle of debt crises: someone else is responsible for them). In 1932 and 1933, it was one of the most appealing parts of the Nazi party´s propaganda campaings that German´s misfortune was the result of a conspiracy of international and Jewish financiers. And after the Nazi seizure of power, the high volume of foreign debt tied into Germany was even used as a weapon of diplomacy. (...) The German case illustrates a second principle of debt crises as well: frozen debt can be used to devastating effect in a sort of blackmail attempt. The more highly indebted a country - and the more hopeless its situation when it comes to repaying debt - the more likely itis to adopt an agressively nationalist stance, and the more likely it is to believe that the fault lies with the creditors, not the debtors: the creditors should be made pay for their past immorality." - Harold James, Deep Red - The International Debt Crisis and Its Historical Precedents, American Scholar, June 1, 1987, pp. 331-341.    


Sabe-se o que aconteceu depois. Lausanne não foi a primeira, nem a segunda, nem a última vez que os alemães, a despeito da sua incapacidade, receberam um perdão de dívida. Este acordo mereceu a oposição dos nazis, que queriam a demissão dos negociadores. Esperavam um perdão total da sua dívida e não apenas parcial. Hoje, uma solução que salve o euro, a face da Grécia e dos credores, recolocando os extremistas no seu lugar, parece ser mais premente do que andar a bater no infeliz Tsípras e no Syriza. Mas há quem não veja isso. A Aurora Dourada, Nigel Farage, Mme. Le Pen, os "nacionais-populistas" lusos, todos continuam à espreita de uma oportunidade. Memória curta, para não dizer outra coisa.



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