Greece is planning to claim reparations from Germany after over six decades. The Greek finance ministry has prepared a report that contains all the related documents available, finance minister Dimitris Avramopoulos told the parliament today. It will worsen the already strained relationship of Greece with Germany, which has financed most of its 240 billion euro rescue package. Analysts said that it seems unwise to displease Germany at a time when it is playing a key role in Greece’s rescue plan.
Avramopoulos said the report will be submitted to legal advisers and then the parliament will decide how the cash-strapped country can push for its claims. However, he didn’t state how much Greece plans to seek in reparations. Avramopoulos told lawmakers that the finance ministry will use every means possible to get the money back. Though the time has passed, nobody can erase memories.
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Germany had occupied Greece during the second World War. The largest European economy said that it has already paid all the reparations. Greece raised the issue last year as it increasingly suffered due to austerity measures imposed by Germany and other creditors as a condition for its international bailout.
The big guy of Europe is unlikely to shell out 162 billion euros. Research reports suggest that Germany owes Greece 54 billion for loans issued during the World War II, plus 108 billion for ruining the Greek infrastructure. The reports don’t give any idea if Greece has also taken inflation into consideration when calculating these figures.
When the Nazi regime occupied the Greek territory in April 1941, Greece had to bear the occupation and new settlement costs that badly affected the economic infrastructure of the country. Additionally, Greece had granted, willingly or forcibly, several loans to Germany during WWII.
Among the forced loans, the Greek National Bank had given Germany 476 million reichsmarks. Interests on that loan alone add up to $95 billion today. If that is categorized as a normal credit, Germany is obliged to pay it back. But if it is considered as war damage, Greece wouldn’t get a dime because the two countries had signed a peace treaty in 1990 that eliminates any possibility of reparations payment.