Sunday October 26, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
13o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Germany offers fund to defuse Greek war reparation claims

By Harry Papachristou

German President Joachim Gauck dismissed Greek demands for compensation for Nazi-era crimes during a symbolic visit to Greece on Thursday, and instead offered to set up a new fund to remind Germans of their past.

World War Two reparations have resurfaced as an emotional issue in Greece, where many blame Germany, their biggest creditor, for painful austerity and record unemployment associated with two international bailouts.

Acting under opposition and media pressure, the Greek government revived last year a long-dormant quest for war reparations but has not adopted claims raised by some parties and war-victim groups putting the bill at 162 billion euros, about half Greece's total government debt.

Gauck acknowledged on Thursday that Germany carried a "moral debt" for dozens of massacres committed by Nazi soldiers in anti-guerrilla reprisals during the war, but reiterated that Berlin was not willing to discuss reparations.

"I believe the legal way for it is closed," he said during a joint appearance with 84-year-old Greek President Karolos Papoulias, a former wartime resistance member who said the two states should start talks on the issue "as soon as possible."

Gauck said Germany would instead set up a new "Future Fund" to foster the memory of Nazi war crimes in Greece.

"It will dispose substantial sums to make Germans confront that part of their past," he said without offering details on the fund's size or purpose.

Germany denies owing anything to Greece for World War Two after the 115 million deutsche marks it paid in 1960, one of 12 war compensation agreements it signed with Western nations.

But Athens has said it always considered that money as only an initial payment, with the rest of its claims to be discussed after German reunification, which eventually came in 1990.

Several experts and historians regard the claims put forward by Greek opposition and lobby groups as unfounded or overblown.

Greece's fragile coalition government - which is eager to repair often fraught relations with Germany - accepts the claims must be pursued but refuses opposition calls to use them as a bargaining chip in the debt-laden country's bailout talks.

Athens has still not decided on the diplomatic way in which it will pursue the claims, deputy Foreign Minister Akis Gerontopoulos told parliament, responding to opposition charges that the government was dragging its feet over the issue to avoid angering the Germans.

"We will not give up anything we are entitled to," Gerontopoulos said. [Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Thursday March 6, 2014 (15:54)  
Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
No court hearings for civil cases
Greeces lenders seem adamant that govt must act on bailout commitments
Future of Attica trash set to become clearer
Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
Economic reforms in Cyprus are starting to yield results, the government said on Saturday after one credit-rating agency upgraded its rating and a second its outlook for the bailed-out count...
TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
Eurostat has frozen the securitization of properties that the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) had been planning. The project, drafted to bring some 400 million euros into t...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
A bad Olympiakos defeated a worse Laboral Kutxa 63-57 to make it two out of two in the Euroleague on Friday. In a game where the two teams had an overall field goal rate of about one in thre...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Panathinaikos offered its fans a glimpse of its glorious past in European competitions snatching a draw at PSV Eindhoven, on an otherwise bad night for Greek soccer in the Europa League, as ...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
End of reason, end of humanity
The effects of a slew of new and increased taxes introduced since the start of the crisis were first observed in the wages of those still fortunate enough to have jobs, who saw their take-ho...
EDITORIAL
Banks need to step up
What has been leaked so far regarding the results of the stress tests on Greeces lenders, which are due to be published on Sunday, appears positive. Greece needs a healthy, private banking ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
2. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
3. No court hearings for civil cases
4. Greeces lenders seem adamant that govt must act on bailout commitments
5. Future of Attica trash set to become clearer
6. Policeman admits to murder of his cousin-in-law
more news
Today
This Week
1. End of reason, end of humanity
2. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
3. Banks need to step up
4. Greeces lenders seem adamant that govt must act on bailout commitments
5. No court hearings for civil cases
6. Nicosia says reforms are bringing results
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greeces closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. Stop moaning and get in the game
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.