Remember that Greek guest-workers worked the machinery & equipment in Germany and sent their savings back to Greece where they became a major factor in raising the country’s standard of living? So much for the need for foreign investment!
Today, non-Greeks are working the machinery & equipment in Germany and they don’t like the idea of sending their savings to Greece to raise the standard of living there.
The money which was sent back to Greece by the guest-workers is now supposed to be sent to Greece by the German tax payers. As mentioned before, they don’t like this idea.
So how about Germany not sending money to Greece but, instead, machinery & equipment so that Greeks can work that machinery & equipment in their own country and thereby raise their standard of living on their own?
There is one catch to this. The more Greeks work machinery & equipment in Greece to support their standard of living by producing themselves the products which they want (instead of importing them from Germany), the less Germany will export to Greece. This has often been used as an argument that Germany has no interest in making Greece less dependent on imports from Germany. That may be right.
But Germany should learn from “her own Greece” which she had in her own territory. After German unification, there was the historic chance to rebuild the former East Germany economically from scratch. The former East Germany could have become the tiger economic region of Central Europe with the best infrastructure and business environment (because they all had to be built from scratch).
However, there was no particular interest on the part of the West German economy to raise its stiffest competitor in the Eastern part of its unified nation. Above all, it was the West German union movement which made sure that there would not be too much new competition from the East. An overvalued currency in the East helped a lot!
And what was the net result? The former East Germany has to date not been able to develop its own functioning economy and the West still needs to transfer almost 100 billion EUR a year to the East in order to compensate for that.
Bottom line: the surplus countries can’t have both, have the cake and eat it. If they don’t want the deficit countries to become a bit more their competitors (because that would reduce their exports to them), then they have to send the deficit countries the monies needed to buy imports from the surplus countries. There is no other way.