In recent months headlines in the Greek press like The Germans "Owe" War Reparations to the Greeks have multiplied. The amount was specified to 162 billion euros net of interest these days and it is very likely to be called. The far-right party LAOS’ MP Costas Aivaliotis questioned the Ministry of Finance about the German war reparations, revealing some interesting facts.
The first news is that the Greek state debt has increased by 20 million euros in the period from June to December this year. The debt was 310 billion euros on June 7 while the reply of the competent Deputy Minister Filippos Sahinidis made it clear that it has reached 330 billion euros, i.e. 142.5% of GDP. Furthermore, it is mentioned in the reply of the Deputy Minister that the issue of war reparations from Germany remains open within the bilateral relations but the time when the Greek government intends to call the payment was not specified.
LAOS’ MP presented in his speech to the Parliament the results of the work of a group of outstanding economists who have calculated the reparations value as follows:
- 108 billion euros of compensation awarded to Greece by the International Peace Conference in Paris for the damage caused in the economic infrastructure of the country by Nazi troops.
- 54 billion euros of the forced occupation loan Greece gave Germany in 1942.
The Finance Deputy Minister did not call into question either the amount, or its scientific calculation. In last February, however, the German government rejected the attacks launched then that the country owes more of World War II reparations to Greece and stressed that they have nothing to do with today's crisis.
"We must reject these attacks. Under the 1960 agreement, the Federal Republic of Germany has paid reparations to Greece in the amount of 115 million German marks (about 58.8 million euros) for damages caused by Nazism," stated the spokesman of the German Foreign Ministry Andreas Peschke. According to him, the Greeks who were subjected to forced labour by the Nazi government were offset by the Memory, Responsibility and Future Foundation which has paid about 4.4 billion euros to 1.7 million former workers, subjected to forced labour in more than 100 countries.
The German Foreign Ministry spokesman said also that after 1960 his country has granted Greece an amount of "about 32 billion German marks (16.3 billion euros) on bilateral and European level to support the entry of Greece into the European Economic Community." Andreas Peschke stressed that "a discussion on the past does not contribute at all to solve the problems of Greece and has nothing to do with today's crisis in the country."