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A war between Athens and Berlin over WW II reparations

The Greek government is upgrading the interparty parliamentary committee seeking WWII reparations from Germany.

Beyond the destruction dealt to the country by occupation troops, the Nazi authorities had taken a forced loan from the Greek government at the time. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Parliament that “the Greek government will work assiduously so that it helps Europe – on equal terms and through dialogue, in the framework of a sincere negotiation – move towards a solution to the complicated problems it faces. It will work so that Greek meets its obligations fully. It will also work to ensure that all outstanding obligations to Greece and the Greek people are kept fully.”

The Greek Prime Minister said that Germany has never properly paid reparations for the damage done to Greece by the Nazi Occupation despite the fact that the crimes are still vivid. “After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the legal and political conditions were created for this issue to be solved. But since then, German governments chose silence, legal tricks and delay,” he said. Berlin has repeatedly stated that the question of war reparations was legally settled in the treaty that unified Germany in 1990 and that it has honored its war obligations with the payment of 59 million euros to Greece in 1960.

The amount Germany refers to is payment that only covered compensation for individual victims of Nazi atrocities and not for the damage to infrastructures caused as a result of Nazi occupation of Greece from 1941-1944. The settlements does not include the forced loan that Nazis took from Greece’s central bank that effectively destroyed the Greek economy. Greece estimates the damage at 160 billion euros for the loan and structural damages without taking into account other damages.

Tsipras hailed Greek Parliamentary Speaker Zoi Konstantopoulou’s initiative to reintroduce the committee examining the German loan. “We are prepared to offer every legal and political assistance so that this committee’s efforts bear results,” he said.

He said that the initiative was aimed at bringing justice to the unfulfilled moral and material debt to the Greek people and to all European people who fought in war, sacrificed themselves and who bled to defeat Nazism. The Greek government, according to Tsipras, has an obligation to the history of Greece and national resistance fighters and victims to ensure a future free of totalitarianism.

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