Greece has demanded 278.7 billion Euros from Germany in war reparations for when the Nazis occupied the country in World War 2.
According to BBC, Greece’s Syriza government, a radical left party, has made the calculations. They believe that this figure is appropriate considering the looting and atrocities that the Nazis committed during the 1940s.
Syriza believes that Germany should pay this sum to assist Greece’s struggles to pay the massive debt that they owe.
Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Economy Minister, was quick to dismiss Greece’s remarks, and insisted that it was “dumb” to compare the bailout Greece received to reparations.
“To be honest I think it’s dumb,” Gabriel declared. “I think that it doesn’t move us forward one millimetre on the question of stabilising Greece.”
Dimitris Mardas, the Greek Deputy Finance Minister, told a parliamentary committee investigating Greece’s debt that the calculation had been completed by Greece’s state general accounting office. This is the first time that a precise figure has been amalgamated by a Greek government for Nazi reparations.
“According to our calculations, the debt linked to German reparations is 278.7 billion euros,” Mardas declared, while he also explained that this included 10.3 billion euros for an occupation loan that the Bank of Greece was forced to pay to the Nazis.
This isn’t the first time that the issue of reparations has been raised recently. While in Berlin last month, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras once again brought up the issue during a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Meanwhile Eckhardt Rehberg, a budget spokesman for the Christian Democrats, Merkel’s political party, stated on Tuesday that the entire idea of reparations has been closed to them for decades.
Rehberg stated, “the reparations issue is for us closed, politically and legally — the same applies to the so-called forced loan.” Germany has also insisted that the reparations were completed in 1990.
According to Reuters, Rehberg added, “For me the figure of 278.7 billion euros of supposed war debts is neither comprehensible nor sound. The issue of reparations has, for us, been dealt with both from a political and a legal perspective.”
In 1960, Berlin paid Athens around $130 million in reparations, which was a mere fraction of the amount that they demanded. Greece has since insisted that this amount didn’t cover the money that was owed them for war crime, damage to their infrastructure and the return of the aforementioned loan.
Greece’s comments come just two days before Greece’s repayment of $484 million (448 million Euros) to the International Monetary Fund is due to be paid. Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek Finance Minister, has insisted that Greece “intends to meet all obligations to all its creditors, ad infinitum.” However lenders have previously revealed that they are unimpressed with the speed that Greece is repaying them.
[Image via Truth Revolt]