05 May 2010

"Now's the time to mention the war"

London Evening Standard May 4

GERMAN insistence, led by Angela Merkel and the Bundesbank, that Greece should suffer a period of austerity, is not going down well in Corfu, Peter Mandelson’s holiday playground.

“I think it’s a bit of a cheek that the Germans are telling us what to do when they are the origin of all our problems,”
says Count Spiro Flamburiari, whose Corfu villa is next to Lord Rothschild’s, where Mandy holidays.

“They destroyed our country during the war and they have never offered to pay us any compensation.”

Flamburiari vented his fury on this page a few weeks ago when it was suggested in Germany that Greece should sell off some of its islands. But now he is angrier than ever.

“The Germans destroyed 2,000 villages in Greece, as reprisals for resisting German Nazi occupation,”
says Flamburiari, author of Corfu, The Garden Isle.

“They dropped incendiary bombs on my house, a Venetian palace, and the Opera House, which was like La Scala in Milan.

They destroyed the Ionian University, built by Lord Guilford. They ruined everything and they’ve paid us nothing back. There has never been any sort of apology.”

The Count, who is an anglophile and a member of Boodle’s, believes Germany should be paying war reparations to Greece, and perhaps to Britain as well, instead of extracting debts.

“It’s a shambles, it’s blackmail,” says Flamburiari.

“They already own Athens airport and if they lend us money they will earn huge amounts in interest. They ransacked our country during the war and now they are wrecking our tourist industry.”

  • GEOGRAPHY ~ On the question of whose Corfu villa is next to Lord Rothschild’s, the Evening Standard Diary Editor definitely needs to brush up on his geography of Corfu.

    Kudos galore there may be as a neighbour of the Corfu Country Club Estate, but I'm not sure even such a social seeker as Lord R would stretch it to place his handsome estate in the region of Pyrgi, between Ypsos Bay and Barbati

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