Published On: Wed, Oct 10th, 2018

Germany SHOULD pay Greece! German calls for Merkel to REPAY BILLIONS in World War 2 loans


Left-wing lawmaker Gregor Gysi said Berlin should take full responsibility for the actions of Hitler’s fascist regime and pay back at least £8.7billion (€10bn) to settle the outstanding debt.

Greece has maintained the money stolen from Greek banks must be repaid but Germany has refused, insisting it settled any outstanding reparations in a 1990 treaty.

But Mr Gysi has voiced concern “that the then-occupied Greece was obliged by the Nazi regime to pay a compulsory loan”, Cologne-based news channel n-tv reports.

He said: “In my opinion, the Federal Republic of Germany is still liable for this loan.”

The incendiary comment comes just a day before he is due to accompany German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on an official visit to Greece.

And the statement is likely to only fuel Greek demands for the money to be repaid.

Nazi Germany invaded Greece in April 1941 and famously subdued the Greek resistance in just a matter of weeks.

Hitler’s troops remained in the country until early 1944, and during the brutal occupation Axis forces were responsible for the slaughter of thousands of civilians in retaliation for attacks by resistance fighters.

Tens of thousands more died from starvation.

The Nazis were also accused of forcing the Greek central bank to funnel loans totalling some 476 million Reichsmarks to Hitler’s regime – around £8.7billion (€10billion) today.

The money was originally intended to cover the cost of stationing the occupying force but Germany’s demands quickly increased and soon Greece was financing troops on other fronts.

Mr Gysi said not only should Germany repay the original loan amount but also interest on the massive sum.

He said: “The federal government should pay for legal, political and moral reasons, we pay back the loan and offer negotiations on the interest.”

Mr Gysi, a senior figure in Germany’s Left party, will travel to Greece tomorrow alongside President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for a two-day trip which will reportedly include a stop at the Haidari concentration camp near Athens.

The official visit will also include high-level talks with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Mr Gysi said: “I would be very grateful to the President if he sends out a signal that we want to overcome the tensions of the euro crisis between the two countries.”

Greece has long demanded Germany pay further reparations for the devastation inflicted by the Nazi regime during World War Two.

Experts have estimated the damage to be worth close to £262bn (€300bn).

But Germany insists it has already drawn a line under both the loan and the wartime damage.

The 1990 ‘Two Plus Four Agreement’ – officially the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany – paved the way for the reunification of Germany following the fall of the Berlin wall.

The German government says the accord also had the effect of writing off any outstanding reparations.

But Triantafyllos Mitafides, President of the Reparations Commission in the Greek Parliament, said a study by his commission concluded Germany still owes £328bn (€376bn)

He told Germany’s Bild newspaper: “The issue of German reparations is addressed at every occasion by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

“So far unfortunately only during commemoration ceremonies in villages that have been victims to the Nazi atrocities.

“I think the visit of the Federal President is a good opportunity to clarify this question personally, not only through public statements, but also between the two Presidents.

“Our report and the total amount of reparations are based not on speculation or estimates, but on official documents.

“For us, there is no limitation period to claim German reparations.”

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.



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