• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Tsipras makes fresh war reparations demand

AFP/DPA/The Local · 11 Mar 2015, 08:49

Published: 11 Mar 2015 08:49 GMT+01:00

“With this we would honour all the victims of the second world war under the Nazis, and likewise the Greek resistance,” Tsipras told Greece's parliament on Tuesday evening.

The parliament subsequently unanimously approved a motion to reactivate a special committee examining the issue, a forced war loan and the seizure of archaeological relics by German occupation forces.

Tsipras said that a reparations agreement from 1960 did not cover some of the Greeks' central demands, including payments for destroyed infrastructure and war crimes, and the repayment of a loan which was forcibly levied by the Nazis in 1942, reports Die Zeit.

He mentioned that Germany was “justly” helped back onto its feet after the Second World War, through cancellation of its debts.

Since then Germany has deployed “legal tricks” in order to avoid talking to Athens about reparations, he said.

Tsipras' predecessors in Athens had already commissioned a study on the question of German reparations, which was completed in March 2013.

Kept under strict secrecy until being published by an Athenian newspaper last Sunday, it details total demands in of between €269 and €332 billion.

On the basis of this study, the Greek High Court is currently considering how potential sanctions claims against Germany could be levied.

German assets to be seized?

The Tsipras government is also considering the seizure of German assets in Greece, reports Der Spiegel.

During the debate in parliament Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos said that in this way the victims of a massacre in a village called Distomo who were massacred by Nazi forces on June 10, 1944, would be compensated.

But Paraskevopoulos said that his further contemplation of the issue would rest on contemporary “national questions.”

This formulation would seem to suggest that the Greek government is tying the reparations to the current negotiations on Greek debt, although the two are not officially linked.

On Wednesday Paraskevopoulos hardened his stance, saying he was "ready to approve" a Greek Supreme Court ruling in 2000 that ordered Germany to pay around €28 million to the relatives of civilians in Distomo.

Under the Supreme Court ruling, assets such as property belonging to Germany's archaeological school and the Goethe Institute (Germany's international language and culture associaton) could be seized as compensation.

"The law states that the minister must give the order for the Supreme Court ruling to be carried out.... I am ready to give that order," Paraskevopoulos told Antenna TV.

The German government sees the question of compensation as settled.

In a response to a parliamentary question by Die Linke (the Left Party) last year, the government issued a statement saying that reparations demands had lost their "eligibility" and that "reparations payments at a period over 65 years after a military conflict would be without precedent."

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Dresden 'most woman-friendly’ city in Germany
Photo: DPA.

Sorry Berlin, you're not the most progressive city for women, according to a new report.

The future belongs to these 10 German regions
This east German city won the 'most improved' category. Photo: DPA

A new study shows that one city above all will dominate the future of Germany, but if you're canny you might still want to think about moving to Leipzig or Erfurt.

Fugitive ex-terrorists 'on huge crime spree' in north Germany
(L-r): ex-RAF members Volker Staub, Daniela Klette, and Burkhard Garweg. Photo: BKA

In their struggle against capitalism they once murdered businessmen and politicians. Now three ex-terrorists have taken to robbing supermarkets - and rather successfully, too.

Scooter singer finally reveals how much the fish cost
H.P. Baxxter. Photo: DPA

It is the question Germans have wanted to know the answer to for almost two decades - and now they have the answer, thanks to a US talkshow host.

'I'm definitely not a paedophile': disgraced MP
Former MP Sebastian Edathy is in hiding after a child pornography scandal destroyed his career. Photo: DPA

Former MP Sebastian Edathy quit his job and left Germany after videos of naked children were found on his computer.

Weekend promises storms, humidity - and a bit of sun
A storm in Cuxhaven last weekend. Photo: DPA

The forecast for the coming days isn’t the pristine blue skies many of us are longing for. But, in among the storms, the sun will still peek out.

Prosecutors take aim at unedited Hitler book
An original edition of 'Mein Kampf' featuring a photo of Hitler on an inside cover. Photo: DPA

German prosecutors said on Thursday they were investigating whether to bring charges against a publisher who has promised to print a version of Adolf Hitler's anti-Semitic manifesto "Mein Kampf" without annotations.

VW bets on battery factory for electric car dominance
A VW logo is seen in front of a plugged-in electric car. Photo: DPA

Scandal-hit car giant Volkswagen is set to sink huge sums into building a factory for batteries to power its future electric cars, German media reported on Friday.

Raging ticket controller seizes Chinese traveler's passport
File photo of a plainclothes ticket controller. Photo: DPA.

Germany's national rail operator is in hot water after a ticket controller reacted aggressively to a newly arrived Chinese traveler who made one of the most basic transit mistakes: forgetting to stamp her ticket.

Berlin politician crusades for health of skateboarding dog
File photo: DPA

Can a canine enjoy skateboarding? That's the question Berlin politicians are struggling to address in a row over a dog on four wheels.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Society
Pegida enraged by black children on chocolate bars
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
National
Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
Lifestyle
10 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
Politics
MP recites explicit Erdogan bestiality poem on live TV
National
China beats Germany in readiness to help refugees
Hamburg
Headless Lübeck corpse turns out to be discarded sex doll
National
Pensioner claims to have found hidden Nazi nukes
Business & Money
Here's why Munich is worth 20 times more than Berlin
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that will stay with you forever
Technology
Church plans to connect with faithful at Wi-Fi 'Godspots'
Technology
Online hate speech can cost users thousands of Euros
Society
Bavarians in rush for non-lethal weapons licenses
Sport
Here's Germany's Mannschaft for Euro 2016
Culture
The Syrian pianist playing his way into Germans' hearts
The parrot who flew fast enough to trigger a speed camera
Technology
New law could let free Wi-Fi bloom across Germany
Politics
Berlin's plans to beef up the German army
Sport
Lufthansa's Euro 2016 ad takes aim at England
National
Supermarkets must pay massive fine for fixing beer prices
National
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Berlin
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
7,846
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd