Payback: Greek govt to launch legal battle for new WWII reparations from Germany
2013-04-24 0:00

From: RT

Greece has officially declared it will seek reparations from Germany dating back to the Nazi occupation during World War II, which could amount to over €100 billion, likely putting further strain on relations between the two Eurozone countries.

"We will exhaust every means available to arrive at a settlement," Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos told parliament in Athens on Wednesday. "One can’t compare the times, but also one cannot erase the memories."

A Greek Finance Ministry report leaked to local media earlier this month showed that Greece believes that Berlin owes it €162 billion – €108 billion for infrastructure damage during the occupation between 1941 and the end of the war, and €54 billion as compensation for an interest-free loan Germany took from the country to support its war effort.

If paid in full, the sum would nearly empty the national currency and gold reserves of Germany (€185 billion as of last month), though this would still not be enough to cover Greece’s national debt (over €350 billion).

Demands for such a reparation scheme have been voiced intermittently by Greek politicians over the past 60 years, but have gained renewed energy amid the recent financial crisis, in which the country has been subjected to tough austerity measures in exchange for largely German-backed loans.

The latest campaign is driven by radical Socialist opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, and is supported by 4 out of 5 Greeks, according to polls.

It remains unlikely that Germany will part with the money voluntarily.


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