Germany owes Romania 18.8 billion Euro, authorities do nothing to recover the debt


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Germany has a huge debt to Romania, according to economist Radu Golban, and the authorities aren’t doing anything to recover it. The debt, amounting to 18.8 billion Euro, apparently comes from a Clearing contract signed by the Romanian and German governments on March 23, 1939, HotNews writes. At a time of crisis, Romania borrows billions from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), when it could benefit from a sum that might contribute faster economic revival.

Under the contract, Romania was supposed to deliver various goods to Germany, which was to pay for those goods at a 10 percent higher price than the average world prices at the time. Germany was supposed to pay the money to the National Bank of Romania. Germany paid its debts to Romania only in the first years but given the war, it fell behind on payments. In 1944, the Germany Finance Ministry issued an official document acknowledging overdue payments to 31 states, including Romania.

Romanian continued exporting goods to Germany after 1944 and the unpaid bills now amount to 18.8 billion Euro. BNR paid Romanian exporters all the bills but demanded no more compensation payments from the Germans.

Economist Radu Golban, living in Switzerland and a German citizen of over 20 years, told HotNews that he published several articles about this matter in Romanian newspaper and even filed petitions with the BNR, President Traian Basescu and the Foreign Ministry, but has no concrete answer as to Romanian authorities’ interest in recovering the debt.

“Legal proceedings to recover the debt have not been initiated. Until now, all the actions resulted only in petitions, addresses and published articles. It’s already known that on August 16, 2010, Mrs. Ulla Jelpke, German MEP, interpellated the Romanian government, demanding an official viewpoint on the matter. What is not known however is the fact that her action is a result of our discussions and collaborations,” Golban said.

The Romanian-born German economist had access to a Basel bank archives while he was doing his PhD and that is how he came to learn about the debt. He says Germany made attempts to pay the debt to Romania but failed in doing so.

“Despite Germany’s various tactics of reducing the debt – either by cutting the cost of German troops’ stationing in Romania from the debt or Romania’s paying some debts to Germany in 1944 from the current debt, it grew in favor of Romania at a fast pace. In 1944, from about 900 million to 1,200 million Reichsmark (imperial marks).”


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