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Schäuble's harsh language angers Greece

AFP/DPA/The Local · 12 Mar 2015, 15:38

Published: 12 Mar 2015 09:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Mar 2015 15:38 GMT+01:00

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"There has been a demarche to Berlin over Mr schäuble's statements," foreign ministry spokesman Constantinos Koutras told AFP.

"He made condescending statements towards the Greek finance minister, and cast doubt on the Greek government's ability to carry out its obligations," Koutras said.

Speaking to reporters after a eurozone ministers' meeting on Monday, schäuble disclosed a discussion in which Varoufakis apparently complained about his treatment by the media.

"He told me that he is always misunderstood, that the media are awful," the German minister said. Schäuble went on to say: "That now he is suddenly naive in terms of communication, that was new to me. But you never stop learning."

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Wednesday that he has never enjoyed the trust of the German government. 

Varoufakis shed light on the intensity of the mistrust that currently exists between Berlin and Athens in a TV interview on Wednesday night.

In the interview he describes an acerbic comment he made towards his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schäuble.

Told by Schäuble that he had lost the trust of the German government, Varoufakis replied "I never had it."

In the same interview, Varoufakis accused the European Central Bank (ECB) of pursuing a policy that attempted to “suffocate” the Greek government.

Representatives of the ECB, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund met with representatives of the Greek government in Brussels on Wednesday to continue negotiations on Greece's repayment of its €320 billion debts.

Meanwhile, the German government has reacted to the Greek government's call for Germany to pay reparations and compensation for war crimes carries out in the Second World War, by stating categorically that it will not enter discussions on the issue.

“On this issue we will enter no discussions or negotiations with the Greek side,” said Finanace Ministry, spokesman Martin Jäger. “This chapter is legally and politically closed.”

On Tuesday, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said war reparations would provide a way of “honouring” the victims of Nazi aggression.

Greek Justice Minister, Nikos Paraskevopoulos said on Wednesday that he was ready to agree to the seizure of German property in Greece, as a means of compensating the families of victims of a massacre carried out by the Wehrmacht in 1942.

ARD speculates that the properties in question would be the German Archeological Institute in Athens and the Geothe Institute's – Germany's cultural mission – building.

In 2000, Greek authorities sent bailiffs into the both of these buildings to write inventories of their contents. Two German schools, one in Athens the other in Thessaloniki, could also be threatened with seizure.

SEE ALSO: Tsipras makes fresh war reparations demand

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

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