With Greece reeling under demands to repay debts to German banks, Greece is preparing demands that Europe’s economic giant should make good on the costs of German looting, extortion, and other damage inflicted during World War II.
The findings of the intra-party committee which was set up to look into Greek claims for German war reparations are expected to be submitted to Parliament in early September, reports said on Friday. The committee wrapped up its probe on July 27.
Greece is demanding 269 billion euros – adjusted to inflation – for damages incurred during the Nazi occupation in World War II, including forced loans plus interest.
According to German magazine Der Spiegel, the 77-page report recommends that Greece employs diplomatic means to persuade Germany but doesn’t rule out legal action if that fails.
The reparations issue has been repeatedly raised by the SYRIZA-led coalition and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras timed an appeal last week – to European leaders for solidarity over the country’s debt burden – to coincide with the anniversary of the so-called London Debt Agreement in 1953, which secured West Germany a write-down of more than 50 percent of the debts it accumulated during the two world wars.
Given that much of the money extracted from Greece in recent years went to Germany, debts that have driven the nation deep into economic misery because of austerity measures imposed by the German-dominated European Central Bank and the European Commission, plus the International Monetary Fund, we think the Greeks have an excellent case.
Add in the fact that much of that debt comes from contracts to German firms, companies that extracted the wealth by criminally bribing officials of previous conservative Greek governments, there’s goof cause for debt relief, and reparations is a good first step.