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German Vice-Chancellor Gabriel (SPD) calls “stupid” Greece’s WWII reparations of €278.7billion

Germany’s economy minister, Merkel’s vice chancellor and leader of Social Democrats (SPD) Sigmar Gabriel branded Greece’s demand for 278.7 billion euros in reparations from World War Two as “stupid“, Reuters report on Tuesday. Gabriel’s diplomatic reaction comes a day after Greek deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas said that Germany had to pay to Greece €278.7 billion in WWII reparations for atrocities, damages in infrastructure and the “enforced loan” the NAzis took from the occupied country.

Sigmar Gabriel, who is economy minister and German vice chancellor, 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 Gabriel, who leads the Social Democrats (SPD), junior partner in the ruling coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.

Sigmar Gabriel seems to forget the WWII reparations was always an issue for Greece with or without economic crisis.

Anyway, ,Greece has some supporters in the German opposition with the Greens and Die Linke saying that Berlin should repay at least the “enforced loan” dating from 1942.

But Greece’s demand for Germany to repay a forced wartime loan amounting to 10.3 billion euros 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, told Reuters 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, Sarrazin said.

(full article REUTERS via THE STAR)

Also the President of European Parliament Martin Schulz rejected Athens’ demands saying “reparations are legally completed” and thus although nobody asked him…
Germany has repeatedly rejected Greece’s demands claiming the issue has been settled …. loooooong ago. But this is not the case.

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8 comments

  1. Of course this idiotic idea finds supporters in the reds and the greens. They have no political topic to set themselves apart from the other parties, which is why both parties are dying a slow, agonizing death and are bleeding members. With this though they have ensured that they won’t get elected anytime soon, because the german populace would rather lynch their government then accepting to pay reparations and the government knows that. Of course the useless socialists will never understand that, but hey thats why they are useless socialists.

    • I mean 95% against reparations is a very clear indication of what the german people think about the issue.

      • What the German people think is actually immaterial. This will go to the International Court of Justice, and what they think is what really matters. Looking at the various people who know legalities rather than speak with kneejerk reactions, the German “Nein” might not be all that secure…

        • So you think that nobody had the idea so far and it needed Syriza to come up with it?

          There were plenty of cases filed, but not a single one won. – Did you ever wonder why you don’t read anything about this in Greek media?

          Syriza wants to create a mutually hostile environment for preparing the Grexit, but avoiding to get blamed for it.

          • You read in the Greek media what they are told to print… Rather than getting into a pointless yes-no argument, I suggest you let this run its coure in the International Court for Human rights, as is the intention.

        • Its not immaterial what the german people think, because mommy looks very closely at polls and what the german public wants, and therefor it might have consequences for th enegotiations.
          As for the legal side, there might be an argument concerning the 10.3 billions from the loan, i dont know im no legal expert. But the rest…
          i dont see any chance for that, do you remember any country paying for a war they started? If the IC were to order germany to pay war reparations for a war more then 70 years in the past theyd have do the same for other more recent wars. Do you see the US and Russia paying to Afghanistan? Or the Arab countries paying to Israel(or vice versa)? Thatll never happen.

          Btw. as mentioned above there are people in germany that think some sort of reparations are in order. But as with all reparation(not sure this is the right word) payments during the last decades, they would only go do victims directly(and there arent many of those around any more) not to their descendants and certainly not to another state.

          In any case, the two issues of greek debt and german guilt should be seperate and mixing them up now hurts the greek standpoint in negotiations and its diminishes the efforts ofthose that actually fought for years on the reparations issue

  2. This number at this timing is certainly stupid in a tactical sense concerning the negotiations. Leave aside for a moment the morality issue on whether and if yes how much should pe paid for the crimes committed during ww2. You KNOW that no german government could pay 250+billion to just greece, because then other countries would make similar demands and the total would be in the trillions. On the other hand this huge sum, at the same order of magnitude as the total greek debts today, just makes most people think that your government is now trying to play the guilt card in order to get what the previous governments wanted as well, a huge load of money without any conditions(not saying this is my opinion but its certainly how its percieved by most people here)

  3. I agree Cher. It should be set aside for another day. Tsipras and his negoitating team should focus on the main issue. It appears to be a distraction to throw in other issues at this stage and viewed as a desperate measure to muddy the water. Resulting in the Syriza seeming they are running scared.
    That would not be in Greece’s best interest.