New Marshall plan

The Germans should be ashamed of their hard-line approach to Greece. It is never a good idea to drive a country and people into poverty. In 1919 the Versailles Treaty and reparations drove the Germans into poverty and the result was the Nazis and the Second World War.

In 1946 not only did the Germans have their debts written off as Brian Rattray (Letters, 7 July) pointed out, but the more generous Americans launched the Marshall Plan with a lot of money which put Germany and Europe back on their feet.

The French seem more emollient, as well they might. In 1792 Marie Antoinette, when told the people had no bread suggested they eat cake, but did not supply any, so lost her head.

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In 1847 the Irish had no potatoes, but the landowners still sent all the wheat to England, leading eventually to the end of the 300-year United Kingdom of Henry VIII.

There are many other examples, the Russians in 1917, the Middle East all this century, bombed, in the words of Dick Cheyney “back into the Stone Age”.

None of these led to peace and well being, even for those in power.

Germany and Europe have lots of money. They should cancel the Greek debt and start a mini Marshall Plan to put the country back on its feet.

George Shering

West Acres Drive