PM calls for fresh start in Greek-German relations during Steinmeier visit

PM calls for fresh start in Greek-German relations during Steinmeier visit

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for a fresh start in Greek-German relations following tension during the bailout years and negotiations with European creditors.

Speaking during a meeting with visiting German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Athens on Thursday, Tsipras said the two countries “need to put the last eight years and whatever stereotypes” may have soured their relationship behind them, but added that this does not mean “sweeping differences from the distant past under the rug.”

Steinmeier responded by acknowledging the barbarities committed during the Nazi occupation of Greece, saying that they should not be forgotten.

Earlier in the day, the German president and his wife, Elke Budenbender, visited a former concentration camp in Haidari, west of Athens, where the Nazis held more than 20,000 people during World War II, sending some to the Auschwitz death camp.

On Friday, Steimeier and Pavlopoulos are due to visit the southern Peloponnese city of Kalamata to mark the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Athens from German occupation, widely considered as the end of the Nazi occupation of Greece. 

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