Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made a reference about the thorny issue of War Reparations to Greece but German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier bypassed the subject by apologizing for the “atrocities” committed by the Nazis during the WWII.
The two EU partners should not ignore any differences arising from the distant past, which should “be resolved on the basis of international law, ” Tsipras said during the meeting with the German President in his office on Thursday morning.
He added that the momentum may be a new beginning for the Greek-German relations but “this does not mean that we have to forget or hide under the carpet any differences arising from the distance past.”
Tsipras stressed “we have to define together and with mutual respect the scope of the solution based on the international law we all respect.”
Steinmeier responded with the usual German rhetoric when it comes to the country’s Nazi past and said “we have moral and political guilt, we do not want to forget what happened.
“We cannot forget the past or ignore the moral and political guilt,” Steinmeier said “we do not want to forget what happened.”
Referring to the visit he paid to the “concentration camp” in Chaidari, West Athens, “from where people left for Auschwitz and Dachau,” Steinmeier said “we honor the dead and apologize for these atrocities.”
He very cautiously touched the War Reparations and said:
“Irrespective of the legal positions we have, we consider our obligation to do something to counterbalance the acts coming from the German side.”
He did not elaborate on this “something to counterbalance” but added another generalized German cliche like “We do not want to forget what we have done, but rather we want to give to new generations our lessons from this period, letting people coexist without one hating the other. “
The President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos did not mention the War Reparations issue during the meeting with his German counterpart in the morning, but he is expected to do so during the official dinner at his official speech before they all raises their wine glasses to honor the very important guest.
PS I think the appropriate German “apology” should be on a 289-billion-euro cheque, although we could make a 10% discount. Just to hinder people saying “Greeks are greedy…”