Alternate Defense Minister Costas Isichos said on Wednesday that the government does not want to enter a “war of words” with Germany over the issue of World War II reparations after Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel dismissed the suggestion that Berlin could owe as much as 287.7 billion euros as “stupid.”
“We are not seeking another war of words but a political understanding over German reparations,” said Isichos.
“This is a bilateral issue between Greece and Germany,” he added, saying that the government’s interest in this matter has nothing to do with the ongoing negotiations with its lenders.
Isichos, however, argued that Gabriel’s comments on Tuesday were an admission that the issue has not been resolved.
Gabriel commented on the subject after Alternate Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas told a parliamentary committee that the General Accounting Office had calculated Berlin owed Athens 278.7 billion euros, including a 10.3-billion-euro repayment of a loan the Bank of Greece was forced to provide to the Nazis.
Gabriel said Germany needed to keep asking itself whether it had done enough to deal with the responsibility of the war.