Moderation: Mogens Pelt, Danish Institute at Athens, Director
RSVP to LaurentCarl.Weissenberger(at)fes.deby 16 May 2023
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For years, Greece was considered a model child of the European project: it was the first state to become an associate member of the European Economic Community (1961) and - despite the dictatorship (1967-74) - a pioneer of Mediterranean enlargement. Post-war German-Greek relations were forged with the European perspective in mind, and although the brutal German occupation of the country in World War II only ended a few years prior, it was possible to re-establish normal relations with each other quite quickly from the 1950s onwards. Greece made early attempts at rapprochement with West Germany, which in turn advocated Greek participation in the European project. But this laid the foundation for an asymmetrical interdependence: A persistent trade deficit with Germany, Greece's most important trading partner, proved to be the price of growth and modernization.
The recent euro crisis has seriously strained German-Greek relations for the first time in decades: The former goody-goody "Greece" became the black sheep of the EU, and stereotypes that were thought to have been overcome were instrumentalized in a heated debate in both countries.