ATHENS – Greek World War II hero Manolis Glezos, a Member of Parliament, said Greece should press Germany to pay reparations for damage, atrocities and theft by the Nazis, which he put at 162 billion euros ($224.8 billion) at today’s rates.
Glezos, who, with his friend the late Apostolos Santas, tore down the Swastika atop the Acropolis and replaced it with the Greek flag in 1941, said the amount doesn’t include interest and said came from data he got from the Bank of Greece.
His call came as German President Joachim Gauck finished a three-day trip to Greece during which he went to the village of Ligiades near Ioannia and apologized for a massacre there by Nazi troops during the war. But Gauck set aside any hope Greece had of getting reparations saying the issue is settled and over.
Glezos, 91, a lawmaker with the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party, said much of the money due is from a forced loan the Nazis demanded and didn’t repay.
“The forced occupation loan was imposed by Germany. The Nazis imposed this loan on us, we did not ask for it,” he told Mega TV. “The thing is that Germany has already paid back two other forced occupation loans, one to Poland and one to former Yugoslavia, but not to Greece. The critical question here is why Germany behaved in this way towards Greece. I expressed these concerns to the German President in a clear and factual way,” he said.
Glezos mentioned the Paris Peace Treaties, in which the 19-member Allied Commission determined the amount of the war reparations that Germany should pay to the countries that had been under Nazi occupation. The amount that Germany had to pay to Greece was set at $7.1 billion at 1938 market values.
Commenting on Gauck’s apology, Glezos said “The apology is accepted. However it is not enough. We need a practical apology.”
Germany is now the biggest contributor to $325 billion in two bailouts for Greece but has insisted on harsh austerity measures in return, which have created record unemployment and deep poverty.