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Greece wants reparations

Germany
10.03.2015
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Greece's parliament to demand World War II reparations from Germany
Greece's parliament on Tuesday said it will move ahead with a renewed demand to pursue World War II reparations from Germany. Speaking in parliament, leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said it was a moral obligation for Greece to seek war reparations and the return of a forced loan given to the Nazis by Greece's Central Bank.
GALLERY
Athens (dpa) - "Germany has never properly paid reparations for the damage done to Greece by the Nazi occupation," Tsipras told lawmakers.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech during a special session at the parliament in Athens, Greece, 10 March 2015. Greeces parliament on 10 March said it will move ahead with a renewed demand to pursue World War II reparations from Germany.

"The crimes carried out by the Nazis are still vivid and we have a moral obligation to remember what the forces did to the country."

Parliament approved a proposal put forward by Parliamentary President Zoe Constantopoulou on Monday for the re-establishment of a house committee which would continue collecting and organizing historical material related to Greece‘s case. It is also expected to organize conferences and lectures in order to raise awareness of the subject.

"The crimes carried out by the German Nazis are the worst in history ... the worst possible crimes against humanity," said Constantopoulou.

The demand for compensation was first launched by the previous conservative-led coalition government in 2013, but was never followed through.

Berlin has repeatedly said that it legally settled the question of war reparations with Greece in the treaty which reunified Germany in 1990.

But Tsipras said the settlement "does not include a forced loan given to the Nazis by Greece‘s central bank or the destruction of the country‘s infrastructure and economy at the time."

Officials in Athens have said that Greece‘s demand for reparations includes a war loan of 476 million Reichsmarks, or roughly 11 billion euros today before interest that the Bank of Greece was forced to make to the Nazis in 1942.

Overall, Greece is seeking 160 billion euros to cover the loan and compensation for damages from the occupation, where tens of thousands of people were killed or died of starvation.

The renewed demand comes as anti-German sentiment has increased in Greece in recent years over Germany‘s determination that Greece rein in its ballooning budget with tough austerity reforms.

As the biggest economy in the eurozone, Germany funds the largest share of rescue packages from Europe, and in effect has the biggest say over them.

 

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