Go figure. On one hand, the bankrupt Greek Government is begging the German Government for yet another bailout promising "reforms" in return. See
On the other hand, now that the US has agreed to an MOU with Greece, the Greek cultural bureaucracy is likely working with our own State Department bureaucracy to harm the interests of German small buisnesses that export ancient Greek coins to the United States. Of course, the clamp down won't impact the ability of Greek collectors to import such coins, but it will certainly impact the ability of German businesses to ship ancient coins to the US market.
And it's not as if German officials have not raised concerns about this. Indeed, the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, Martin Zeil, has raised concerns about this in a letter to Judith McHale, Undersecretary of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In his letter, Minister Zeil states,
The proposed restrictions (along for similar ones being considered for Italy) would negatively impact the legitimate numismatic trade between Germany and the United States of America and also people to people contacts between US and German citizens.
Apart from very few exceptions, no licence or permit is needed in Germany, neither for import to Germany nor for export from Germany of coins.
If the import of certain coins into the United States required an export licence granted by authorities of the export country in future, this requirement could not be fulfilled by German retailers. Legal trade would then hardly be possible between Germany and the United States.
In Germany there are around 100 auction houses, more than 500 retailers and estimated more than a half million collectors of old coins. Moreover, a considerable number of them are located in Munich, and are engaged in trade with customers in the United States.
Will the Greeks and our own State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs heed these concerns? Or, will they just ignore them along with those of the 70% of the public who expressed opposition to extending import restrictions to Greek coins?