NEWS

Greek reparations demand could oblige Berlin to consider partial debt waiver, German daily says

A commentary in Germany’s influential newspaper Die Welt broaching the issue of Greece’s renewed calls for Berlin to pay reparations to Greece for World War II has suggested that German authorities may have to consider waiving part of Greece’s huge debt burden.

The piece notes that Greek authorities have expressed their determination to press demands for war reparations and “bring the matter to a conclusion.” Under the title “Mr Schaeuble, talk about war reparations!” the article notes that Greece’s demands, for some 160 billion euros, were first made by leftist veteran Manolis Glezos but have since been embraced by a government “under pressure to prove that it is not Germany’s lackey.”

The commentary quotes Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos who told Parliament last week that the question of war debts remained “open” and that the government will take “decisive steps” after receiving legal advice on how to proceed. Concluding, the piece refers to a “moral imbalance” that could put Germany under pressure to show “some symbolic goodwill sooner or later” such as a partial waiver of Greece’s debts, which might be necessary eventually “as Greece will never be able to repay them.”