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Thread: Athens threatens to seize German assets over WWII reparations

  1. #1
    across the universe Array Olm the Water King's Avatar
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    Default Athens threatens to seize German assets over WWII reparations | Athens threatens to seize German assets over WWII reparations

    Athens threatens to seize German assets over WWII reparations

    Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos has said he is ready to sign an older court ruling that will enable the foreclosure of German assets in Greece in order to compensate the relatives of victims of Nazi crimes during the Second World War.

    Greece's Supreme Court ruled in favor of Distomo survivors in 2000, but the decision has not been enforced.

    Distomo, a small village in central Greece, lost 218 lives in a Nazi massacre in 1944.

    “The law states that in order to implement the ruling of the Supreme Court, the minister of justice has to order it. I believe this permission should be given and I’m ready to give it, notwithstanding any obstacles," Paraskevopoulos told Antenna TV on Wednesday.

    “There must probably be some negotiation with Germany,” said Paraskevopoulos, who first announced his intention Tuesday during a Parliament debate on the creation of a committee to seek war reparations, the repayment of a forced loan and the return of antiquities.

    During the same debate, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed his government’s firm intention to seek war reparations from Germany, noting that Athens would show sensitivity that it hoped to see reciprocated from Berlin.

    Tsipras told MPs that the matter of war reparations was “very technical and sensitive” but one he has a duty to pursue. He also seemed to indirectly connect the matter to talks between Greece and its international creditors on the country’s loan program. “The Greek government will strive to honor its commitments to the full,” he said. “But it will also strive to ensure all unfulfilled obligations toward Greece and the Greek people are fulfilled,” he added. “You cannot pick and choose on ethical issues.”

    Tsipras noted that Germany got support “despite the crimes of the Third Reich” chiefly thanks to the London Debt Agreement of 1953. Since reunification, German governments have used “silence, legal tricks and delays” to avoid solving the problem, he said. “We are not giving morality lessons but we will not accept morality lessons either,” Tsipras said.

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    Nothing is going to come of this.
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    Sounds like
    1w2-6w5-3w2 so/sp

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    Greece puts figure of €279bn on claim for German reparations | World news | The Guardian

    Greece puts figure of €279bn on claim for German reparations

    Athens officially quantifies sum which includes repayment of forced loan and return of archaeological treasures

    Greece’s deputy finance minister has said that Germany owes it nearly €279bn (£205bn) in reparations for the Nazi occupation of the country.

    Greek governments and private citizens have pushed for war damages from Germany for decades but the Greek government has never officially quantified its reparation claims.

    A parliamentary panel set up by Alexis Tsipras’s government started work last week, seeking to claim German debts, including war reparations, the repayment of a so-called occupation loan that Nazi Germany forced the Bank of Greece to make and the return of stolen archaeological treasures.

    Speaking at a parliamentary committee on Monday, the deputy finance minister, Dimitris Mardas, said Berlin owed Athens €278.7bn, according to calculations by the country’s general accounting office. The occupation loan amounts to €10.3bn.

    The campaign for compensation has gained momentum in the past few years as the Greeks have suffered hardship under austerity measures imposed by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in exchange for bailouts totalling €240bn to save Greece from bankruptcy.

    Tsipras has frequently blamed Germany for the hardship stemming from the imposition of austerity. The Greek prime minister has angered Berlin by threatening to push for reparations in the middle of talks to unlock aid for Greece.

    Germany has repeatedly rejected the country’s claims and says it has honoured its obligations, including a 115m deutschmark payment to Greece in 1960.
    Germany rejects ‘stupid’ Greek demand for reparations

    Germany rejects ‘stupid’ Greek demand for reparations

    Greece says €279 billion owed by Berlin arising from second World War Nazi occupation

    Germany’s economy minister branded Greece’s demand for €278.7 billion in reparations from the second World War as “stupid“ on Tuesday, while the German opposition said Berlin should repay a forced loan dating from the Nazi occupation.

    Greece’s deputy finance minister Dimitris Mardas made the demand on Monday, seizing on an emotional issue in a country where many blame Germany, their biggest creditor, for the tough austerity measures and record high unemployment connected with two international bailouts totalling €240 billion.

    Germany’s vice chancellor and economy minister Sigmar Gabriel called the demand “stupid”, saying Greece ultimately had an interest in squeezing a bit of leeway out of its euro zone partners to help Athens overcome its debt crisis.

    “And this leeway has absolutely nothing to do with World War Two or reparation payments,“ said Mr Gabriel, who leads the Social Democrats (SPD), junior partner in the ruling coalition with chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU party.

    Berlin is keen to draw a line under the reparations issue and officials have previously argued that Germany has honoured its obligations, including a 115-million deutschemark payment made to Greece in 1960.

    A spokeswoman for the finance ministry said on Tuesday that the government‘s position was unchanged.

    Eckhardt Rehberg, a budget expert for the CDU, accused Athens of deliberately mixing the debt crisis and reform requirements imposed by Greece‘s international creditors with the issue of reparations and compensation.

    “For me the figure of €278.7 billion of supposed war debts is neither comprehensible nor sound,” he told Reuters. “The issue of reparations has, for us, been dealt with both from a political and a legal perspective.”

    But Greece’s demand for Germany to repay a forced wartime loan amounting to €10.3 billion found support from the German opposition, with members of the Greens and the far-left Linke party saying Berlin should cough up.

    Both Manuel Sarrazin, a European policy expert for the Greens, and Annette Groth, a member of the leftist Linke party and chairman of a German-Greek parliamentary group, said that Berlin should repay a so-called occupation loan that Nazi Germany forced the Bank of Greece to make in 1942.

    Berlin and Athens should “jointly and amicably” take any other claims to the International Court of Justice, Mr Sarrazin said.

    Ms Groth went further, saying: “If you look at Greece‘s debt and the European Central Bank’s bond purchases every month, it puts the figure of €278.7 billion into perspective.”

    She said the German government should, at the very least, talk to Athens about how it came up with that figure.

    “The German government’s categorical ‘Nein’ certainly cannot be allowed to stand. That‘s disgraceful 70 years after the end of the war,” Ms Groth said.

    Mr Gabriel did say that Germany needed to keep asking itself whether it had done enough in connection with the second World War.

    He said that while the “Treaty on the Final Settlement with respect to Germany” signed in September 1990 by the then-West Germany and East Germany with the four second World War allies had put a “formal end” to the reparations debate, Germany could not – for the foreseeable future – draw a line under its responsibilities that arose from the second World War.

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    Sounds to me like Greece's economy is tanking and they're looking to grab cash wherever they can get it from...
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