x

Society

Germany Says No More WWII Reparations for Greece

October 11, 2018

Declaring the matter over and done with, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said there will be no more WWII payments to Greece for damage done by the Nazis despite repeated calls from Greek governments, including the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition.

“The reparations issue was legally and politically settled,” he said at a news conference in Berlin, adding that “nothing has changed” in that position and that apart from some public statements and bluster that the Greek government hasn’t even officially asked for reparations.

That came as German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was expected in Athens on Oct. 11 for a two-day official visit, after an invitation by his counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos and as he’s expected to meet Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who said previously Germany should pay more.

The two presidents are to travel to Kalamata on Oct. 12 on the anniversary of the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Athens from German occupation, considered as the end of the Nazi occupation of Greece, a brutal period that saw scores of thousands of people die, the country’s infrastructure ruined and the banks looted of gold and art treasures stolen.

With German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visiting, Greece’s government said it would again demand World War II reparations for atrocities and destruction suffered under the hands of the Nazis.

Germany was the biggest contributor to 326 billion euros ($384.01 billion) in three international bailouts that began in 2010 to prop up Greece’s economy that was undermined by decades of wild overspending and runaway patronage by successive governments, but insisted on harsh austerity measures in return. The rescue packages ended on Aug. 20.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly ruled out paying any more in damages to Greece, saying the issue was settled decades ago. The Greek Court of Audits put the claims at 309.5 billion euros ($364.58 billion) the German newspaper Handelsblatt said in a report on the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition and Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, from the major rival New Democracy, still wanting Germany to pay.

Greek Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis said the government would debate compensation when a committee report reaches the body before the end of the year and would “enforce our demands in bilateral negotiations and through legal channels.”

The Nazi occupation from 1941-44 was brutal, with hundreds of thousands of Greeks dying from starvation or freezing or in a number of massacres of villages, some of which saw every resident killed, including women and children.

Around 70,000 Greek Jews were deported to extermination camps, the economy was ruined, banks raided of money and gold, art treasures stolen and half of Greek industry and roads destroyed by the time the occupation ended.

In 1960, Germany transferred 115 million deutsche marks (worth about 200 million euros today) to Athens for Greek victims of Nazi rule, which Germany’s government today ended any more chance of paying out.

After winning election in 2015, Tsipras – who later backed off, needing Merkel’s support – said that Germany needed to “finally acknowledge these crimes,” and pay up.

In September, on a visit to the village of Chortiatis, site of a 1944 massacre where 146 Greeks were murdered – most of them women and children, Pavlopoulos said Greece’s demands were justified and “non-negotiable.”

RELATED

ATHENS – Leaders of Greece's Roma community called for an end to violent protests that came after a police officer was charged with shooting a 16-year-old Roma boy in the head during a chase after he drove away from a gas station without paying for 20 euros ($21.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Warnock or Walker? Georgia Runoff to Settle Last Senate Seat

ATLANTA — Georgia voters on Tuesday are set to decide the final Senate contest in the country, choosing between Democratic Sen.

BOISE, Idaho — Police are asking for help finding the occupant of a car that was seen near where four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death last month, saying that person could have "critical information" about the case.

WASHINGTON — Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, said Wednesday that he is "in pain right now" over rising antisemitism in the United States but will keep speaking out against it and other forms of bigotry and hate for "as long as I have this microphone.

DECEMBER 11TH: On this day in 1950, Christina Onassis (Andreadis), the American-born Greek heiress (Aristotle Onassis’ only daughter), was born in New York City.

NASHUA, NH – Tracy (Cronin) Pappas of Nashua, passed away peacefully and unexpectedly on November 30, into God’s loving and merciful hands.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.