The Plenary of the Greek Parliament is discussing on Wednesday the findings of a Special Parliamentary Committee on Greece’s reparations claims from Germany for atrocities and the enforced loan during World War II. At the end of the debate lawmakers will be called to vote for the relevant resolution.
It is a decision of historical significance as it will determine the first steps for the formal launch of the claim.
The claims of the Greek state remain active and outstanding, said Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis while opening the Plenary. The debate in Parliament takes place two years after the conclusion of the Committee in order to avoid any attempt to offset the claims with the Greek debt to Germany.
“Greece has never given up its general claims from Germany,” Voutsis added.
The debate is expected to begin at 10:00 a.m. and will end at 09:00 p.m., while the prime minister and political leaders are expected to deliver their speeches.
Then the plenary will be asked to adopt the relevant resolution.
Once the resolution is adopted, the Greek government will be obliged to make a verbal note to the German government.
The Greek claims refer to war reparations during the time of the country’s occupation by the Nazis 1941-1944. The claim refers to material damages, the looting of archaeological treasures and ecclesiastic heirlooms, the repayment of the enforced occupation loan.
The report of the Special Committee lists Greece’s previous attempts to make the claims.
1945- Conference of the German Restorations in Paris: The Greek Delegation first put its claim against Germany.
1952 – London Conference: In a letter to the Secretary of the Conference, the issue of the repayment of the enforced loan was claimed.
1966-n. No. GDR 30-63 / 9-11-1966 A verbal note in which the Greek government presented the evidence that “the information of the German Federal Government that Greece has given up its claims for the repayment of the loan do not correspond to the truth.”
In a verbal note 68/67 / 31-3-1967 to Greece, the German Federal Government said it “never concluded … that the Greek Government intends to resign officially from legally founded claims.” However, Germany refused to examine the claims as stated on Article 5 (2) of the Treaty of London for the settlement of German debts.
1995-Greece repeitarated that it has not waived claims for damages and reparations.. Germany responded with a press release from the Foreign Ministry saying “it is not possible for Greece to expect Germany to enter into talks on this issue.”
The issue of Greece’s claims on WWII Reparations from Germany revived in the last couple of years, with researches to have estimated that Berlin owes to Athens more than 180 billion euros.