Greece claims Germany owes it $303 billion in reparations for Nazi occupation
Germany owes Greece nearly €279 billion ($303 billion) in war reparations for the Nazi occupation during World War Two, the Greek government says.
It is the first time Greece has officially calculated what Germany allegedly owes it for Nazi atrocities and looting during the 1940s.
However, the German government says the issue was resolved legally years ago.
Greece’s radical left Syriza government is making the claim while struggling to meet massive debt repayment deadlines.
PM Alexis Tsipras raised the reparations issue when he met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin last month.
The new figure given by Greek Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas includes €10.3 billion for an occupation loan that the Nazis forced the Bank of Greece to pay.
“According to our calculations, the debt linked to German reparations is 278.7 billion euros,” Dimitris Mardas told a parliamentary committee investigating responsibility for Greece’s debt crisis.
Dimitris Mardas said the reparations calculation had been made by Greece’s state general accounting office.
Berlin paid 115 million Deutschmarks to Athens in 1960 in compensation – a fraction of the Greek demand. Greece says it did not cover payments for damaged infrastructure, war crimes and the return of the forced loan.
Germany insists the reparations issue was settled in 1990 legally and politically before Germany reunified.
Syriza politicians have frequently blamed Germany for the hardship suffered by Greeks under the tough bailout conditions imposed by international lenders.
PM Alexis Tsipras is trying to renegotiate the €240 billion EU-IMF bailout that saved Greece from bankruptcy. Greece has not received bailout funds since August last year, as the lenders are dissatisfied with the pace of Greek reforms.
A Greek repayment of €448 million to the International Monetary Fund is due on April 9.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has said that Greece “intends to meet all obligations to all its creditors, ad infinitum”.
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