German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Friday that the issue of war reparations to Greece has been permanently settled, “both legally and politically,” in what was Berlin’s first official response to this week’s statement by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that he would revive Greece’s bid for damages for the atrocities of Nazi troops in World War II.
Seibert added that Berlin’s position on this issue is clear and has been repeatedly expressed.
On Tuesday, Tsipras said that his government would do “whatever is necessary” so that Germany pays.
According to German media reports this week, Berlin’s argument that the issue has closed rests on the 1953 London Agreement, which wrote off Germany’s debts and freed it of any obligations to pay compensation and reparations.
However, Tsipras is not expected to drop the matter as he bids to boost his profile and divert attention away from a tough round of negotiations with creditors after the summer.
Indeed, at the end of the month, a plenary session of Parliament will debate the findings of a special cross-party committee, which designated the amount of compensation Greece should demand from Berlin.