Germany Rejects WWII Reparations to Greece as “they lost their relevance”

Posted by in Economy, Politics

Germany rejects any War World II reparations to Greece for two reasons: a) “The federal government assumes that after several decades, the question of reparations has lost its relevance” and b) “there is no single official contact between Germany and Greece where this topic has been raised”. So said Martin Schaefer, spokesman for German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Germany bats off Greek ‘Nazi damages request’

Germany on Friday dismissed the idea of paying further reparations to Greece for the wartime Nazi occupation of the country, adding that the issue had not been raised through official bilateral channels.

Speaking at a regular government news briefing, a spokesman for Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said: “The federal government assumes that after several decades, the question of reparations has lost its relevance.”

The spokesman, Martin Schaefer, noted that Germany had already handed over “substantial sums” to Greece as part of bilateral agreements on war reparations.

“For us, this is not an issue we have with Greece and I would like to add that I am not aware of any single discussion, any single official contact between Germany and Greece where this topic has been raised,” he said.

Greece’s finance ministry announced last week that a “working group” had been set up to scour historical archives and tally how much Germany might owe in outstanding reparations for Nazi war crimes during World War II.

Athens has said in recent years that it reserves the right to claim reparations worth an estimated $7.5 million (5.76 million euros), saying it was forced to accept unfavourable terms during negotiations in the 1950s.

However, analysts said it was more about silencing domestic critics than putting real pressure on Berlin, which some in Greece blame for imposing harsh austerity measures on the debt-wracked country in return for bailouts.

“Germany owns up to its Nazi past. We have always done this over the past decades and we have proved in several ways that we take this … very seriously,” Schaefer said.

“That goes too for the Nazi occupation of Greece in World War II,” he added. (expatica.germany)

PS “it lost its relevance”? I must urgently check with my dictionary about the meaning…