Athens presses German reparations bid

20 August 2016
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Alternate Foreign Minister Nikos Xydakis emphasized over the weekend that Athens will push its demands for wartime reparations from Germany, despite the insistence by Berlin that the matter has been resolved, noting that the issue is primarily a moral one for the Greek government.

“We will do everything that is required primarily on the diplomatic level and if necessary also on the legal level for German reparations,” Xydakis told the newspaper Agora in an interview published on Saturday.

“What is needed is the full restitution of the memory of the people who were lost,” Xydakis said, referring to victims of Nazi killings in Greece. “The other side has a duty to recognize this,” he said, referring to German authorities.

Xydakis’s words echoed those of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who revived Greece’s bid for wartime reparations from Berlin during a visit last week to the village of Kommeno, in Arta, northwestern Greece, where more than 300 people were executed by Nazi troops in 1943.

At the end of this month, Parliament is to debate the findings of a cross-party committee which was set up to look into Greek claims for German reparations.

On Friday, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert rejected Greece’s demand, saying the issue of war reparations has been permanently settled “both legally and politically” and stressing that Berlin’s position on this issue is clear and has been repeatedly expressed.

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