Six months since Der Speigel revealed a 2016 report detailing the cost of Germany’s Nazi occupation of the nation during World War II, the Greek Parliament voted Wednesday to demand Germany pay reparations for those damages.
As we noted previously the audit report, ready since August 2016, claims Greece is entitled to €269.5 billion of repairs from the Second World War. In addition, Greece demands the repayment of a €10.3 billion occupation loan.
«The claim for German war reparations is a historical and moral debt for us» Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras @PrimeministerGR said, adding that it would help «build a better future with Germany». «It is our duty to give both people the chance to close this chapter» pic.twitter.com/1gmG4Pz0Zj
— Greece in Stockholm (@GreeceStockholm) April 18, 2019
Having emerged from a decade of Troika-imposed austerity in the past year, Tsipras, a leftist, said his government did not want to link the two issues (imposed austerity and reparations), responding to criticism over the parliament’s delayed response to the report on the matter issued in 2016.
“We could never put the absolute evil of Nazism… on a scale,” he said.
“No slaughter, no monstrosity, not even one drop of blood could be balanced against any bailout.”
For its part, the German government is expected to reject the request. Already in the past, it has made it clear that Greece has no legal right to claim damages for the Second World War.
“The question of German reparations has been conclusively settled, both legally and politically,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Wednesday.
“We are, and I hope you can believe us, aware of our historic responsibility.”
As Reuters reports, Germany has in the past apologized for Nazi-era crimes but has not been willing to reopen talks on reparations. Then-West Germany paid Greece the sum of 115 million deutschmarks in 1960 as reparations for its wartime suffering.