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)