- A spokesman for the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented on the situation, saying that “the negotiations would make a very positive contribution to the further promotion of Greek-German relations”
- Already in June 2019, the government led by Prime Minister Aleksis Cipras asked Germany to negotiate reparations for damages in World War I and II
- The Greek parliamentary commission estimated the amount of war damage Germany caused in the country at at least EUR 289 billion
- For the federal government in Berlin, the issue of reparations was legally and politically finalized by the Two Plus Four Treaty of 1990.
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– The issue remains open until our demands are met. These claims are valid and active and will be pursued by all means, said Aleksandros Papaioannou, spokesman for the Greek Foreign Ministry.
In June 2019, the government led by Prime Minister Aleksis Cipras asked Germany to negotiate reparations for damages in World War I and II. In October, this request was rejected by the German side. The government of today’s conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Micotakis confirmed in a diplomatic note in January 2020 that the question of reparations is open to Greece.
Germany invaded Greece and Yugoslavia exactly 80 years ago, on April 6, 1941. Until 1944, the SS and Wehrmacht committed numerous massacres in Greece. Public mass executions were called reprisals for guerrilla attacks. Tens of thousands of Greek civilians died in the war. In Athens alone, over 40,000 people died of starvation. Greeks. Greek industry has been destroyed in 80%.
The Greek parliamentary commission estimated the amount of war damage Germany caused in the country at at least EUR 289 billion, including a forced loan that Greece had to grant to Deutsche Reichsbank during the occupation.
For the federal government in Berlin, the issue of reparations was legally and politically finalized by the 1990 Treaty of Two plus Four concluded between West Germany, the GDR and the four former occupying powers: the US, the Soviet Union, France and Great Britain. The treaty paved the way for German reunification, but there is no explicit reference to reparations in it.
The Bundestag’s expert service questioned Germany’s position on Greek reparation claims. “The position of the federal government is justified by international law, but by no means is it mandatory,” says the study from June 2019.
The Greens and the Left strongly criticize the tough stance of the government. A few days ago, in the parliamentary debate on the 80th anniversary of the attack on Greece, both groups, in the presence of Greek ambassador Maria Marinaki, called on their government to change its position.
Green MP Manuel Sarrazin said it was “downright humiliating” that the Greek claims were simply deemed settled. “It is a heavy burden for our German-Greek friendship.” The vice-president of the Bundestag, Claudia Roth, said she was ashamed of Germany’s attitude. Left-wing politician Heike Haensel called Germany’s stance “morally but also legally unacceptable”.
On behalf of the federal government, Minister of State Michael Roth (SPD) indicated that reconciliation with Greece would be further promoted through memorial and educational projects. “Nothing is taken care of,” he admitted. However, he did not address Greek claims for damages.
Since taking office in July 2019, Prime Minister Micotakis has avoided putting public pressure on the German government over reparations. According to information from the German side, “it has not been a serious matter recently between the two governments, even behind the scenes”. Since the diplomatic note of January 2020 “against the background of known positions” on both sides, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “there has been no in-depth exchange of views.”
“The federal government is not just about Greece. Poland is also pursuing reparation claims under the rule of the right-wing conservative PiS party. In Poland, a parliamentary commission was also set up to assess the war damages. The report is ready, but kept under lock and key for a year. According to earlier Polish officials, Estimates based on the 1946 inventory, including interest, amount to 800 billion euros, “writes the” Welt “daily.
When, in 2019, Greece asked Germany to negotiate reparations, “Welt” wrote: “The German government mantrically repels (claims) with its legally impeccable stance. (…) However, Greek and Polish populists do not care about international law at all. but a moral pressure. The task is to persuade Germany to surrender. (…) Recently the Baltic countries started to think similarly, and if Germany did, the other one and a half dozen countries that were occupied by the Wehrmacht at the time would soon be in line. World War II “.
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Creation date: April 6, 2021, 12:23 PM