Study finds Germany a Greek debt crisis winner | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 10.08.2015
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Study finds Germany a Greek debt crisis winner

Germany is benefiting massively from the debt crisis in Greece and several other eurozone nations, a new study has found, because lower interest rates resulting from the crisis have saved the country billions of euros.

A study conducted by the Halle Institute fro Economic Research (IWH) and released Monday revelead that the German government has saved up to 100 billion euros ($109 billion) in interest on its debt since 2010.

The research group based in Halle (Saale) in eastern Germany, said the government in Berlin benefited because global investors had been flocking to German debt, considering it to be a "safe haven investment" in times of turmoil on financial markets.

"The savings more than offset the costs of the crisis for Germany, even if Greece fails to repay all of the debt it owes to the country," IWH said.

Noting that Berlin had about 90 million euros in the fire in the Greek crisis, the research group added that Germany would benefit from Greece's financial woes "in any case."

Since the outbreak of the eurozone debt crisis in 2010, interest rates for German government bonds and other debt have steadily fallen from about 3 percent to less than 1 percent.

For example, when the leftist Syriza party of current Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won elections in January 2015, they dropped by 0.3 percent in a single day. At times, short-term German debt even fell into negative teritorry, meaning investors were actually paying the state to acquire it.

The IWH study concludes that the German state also benefited disproportionately more than other countries in the eurozone, like France and the Netherlands, which had seen their interest payments falling too, but on a less singificant scale.

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uhe/ng (dpa, Reuters)

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