Greece will soon send a so-called note verbale to Germany, repeating a long-held demand for war reparations for the crimes committed by Nazi Germany in World War II, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told parliament on Wednesday, during a debate on a relevant report presented by a House committee.
“The Greek government intends to address a note verbale to the Federal Republic of Germany, in which it will repeat its inalienable claims arising from the Nazi invasion and occupation, as well as the war crimes of Nazi Germany,” he told lawmakers and asked them to back the move.
According to the committee report, which has estimated the cost of occupation at up to 300 billion euros, the claims will include: war reparations for the material destruction and the dismantling of the country's productive capabilities, compensation for victims and the relatives of the victims of war crimes, the repayment of the occupation loan and the return of stolen archaeological treasures.
“The demand for German war reparations is a historical and moral debt for us. It will help us build a better future in our relations with Germany. Today, therefore, we have a duty to give our two peoples the opportunity to close this chapter,” Tsipras said.
He also rejected the argument that Greece is using the claims to negotiate a reduction of its debt pile and its position in the European Union. “This repulsive claim characterizes those who conceived it – not Greece. Not the parliament,” he added.
Commenting on the debate, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert reiterated Berlin's position on the issue, saying the demands has been settled "both legally and politically," adding that his country recognizes its responsibilities for the occupation.