Greece to join Distomo trial

Prime Minister George Papandreou said yesterday that the Greek government would be represented at a trial at the International Court of Justice in The Hague which is to determine whether relatives of dozens of victims of a massacre in a village north of Athens during World War II can claim compensation from Germany. «I have decided that Greece will intervene at the International Court of Justice on this case,» Papandreou told a Cabinet session. «Our main goal is to serve the country's interests and pay respect to those who sacrificed themselves for the nation,» he said. The decision came two days before a deadline Greece had been given to decide whether to take part in the court case. In November 2008, a court in Florence ruled that the families of the 218 men and women killed by Nazi troops in the village of Distomo should be awarded a villa in Menaggio, near Lake Como, which is owned by a German state nonprofit organization, by way of restitution. Germany appealed against the Italian ruling.