NEWS

Legal council to assess WWII debts report

Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos Tuesday submitted a confidential report leaked to the media over the weekend to the head of the State Legal Council, Fokinas Georgakopoulos. The report suggests that Germany owes debt-wracked Greece 162 billion euros in World War II reparations.

Georgakopoulos is to examine the 80-page document, which was drafted by a team of Finance Ministry experts on the basis of substantial archival material and legal decisions, and assess the legality of the claims before submitting a report to the government.

The leaked report concludes that German authorities are obliged to pay Greece 108 billion euros for damage to infrastructure and another 54 billion euros for a loan that the Nazi occupation forces obliged Greece to take in order to pay Berlin during the war. The reparations are equivalent to about 80 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product.

Last week, Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras refused to speak about the investigation, saying that its findings were secret. Privately, government officials note that they are reluctant to strain ties with Berlin by broaching the thorny issue of reparations.