As Greece struggles financially with unemployment and cuts to wages and pensions, Germany has earned €1.3 billion on the various crisis loans to Greece over the past 10 years according to official figures.
Making up the handsome numbers is a loan of €22.3 billion made to Greece by state-owned German bank KfW. While only two thirds of the loan were accessed, after refinancing costs in seven years it has it has earned €393 million in interest.
Meanwhile since 2015 the Bundesbank earned profits of €952 million on the Securities Market Programme (SMP), a bond-buying programme. Though no longer in operation, the bonds that were bought have continued to generate money for the European Central Bank, with €1.147 billion projected for this year alone and €901 for 2018, with Germany entitled to a quarter of the total sum.
While the profits are legal, politicians of the German opposition say that morally it is another matter entirely to profit over Greece’s financial struggle.
“The interest profits have to finally be paid to Greece,” said the Green Party’s Sven-Christian Kindler.
“It’s just not on that (Germany’s federal finance minister) Wolfgang Schäuble can reform the German budget with such interest profits.”