The Strategist

Athens Claims € 279 Billion for the Nazi occupation

04/07/2015 - 15:25

Greek authorities have stated that Germany owe them almost 279 billion euros as reparations for the Nazi occupation during World War II.

Athens voiced the sum after the official count, but Berlin argues that this issue was legally settled many years ago.

Observers explains the current financial claims of radical left government of Greece by forthcoming date of huge loan payments.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras first raised the question of compensation during his visit to Berlin in March this year.

The sum, which Greece wants to get from the government of Angela Merkel, includes a loan of 10.3 billion euros, based on today's exchange rate. It is a loan that the Bank of Greece gave Nazi Germany under Berlin’s pressure.

 - According to our calculations, Germany’s debt on reparations is 278.7 billion euros, - told Greek Alternate Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas to parliamentary committee entrusted with the task of solving the debt crisis of the country.

In 1960, Berlin had paid a compensation of 115 million DM to Athens. However, according to Athens, this amount does not cover damage of Greek infrastructure, war crimes and the loan issued under pressure.

Berlin insists that the issue of war reparations was settled legally and politically in 1990, on the eve of German reunification.

Radical left party "Syriza", which won the recent election in Greece, has repeatedly accused Germany that it put too stringent conditions for Greece's exit from the economic crisis.

Alexis Tsipras is now trying to change the terms of the transaction, in which the EU and the IMF provided Athens with 240 billion euros in order to help them avoid default. Since August last year, Greece has ceased to receive the next tranche of the loan, as international creditors do not agree with the course of economic reforms in the country.

Recall that on Sunday, Greek Finance Minister Janis Varoufakis said after a meeting with IMF officials in Washington that the country intends to fulfill "all obligations with respect to all the creditors."

According to Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Varoufakis and she agreed that uncertainty about Greece's ability to repay debts is not in the interests of Athens.

- I welcome the confirmation from the Minister that the payment of the loan will be transferred to the IMF on April 9, - said Lagarde.

Prior to that, there were fears that Greece cannot repay the next tranche of IMF loan size of 450 million euros (489 million dollars).

In February, the Greek authorities have agreed to expand the program for four months in exchange for giving up the fight against austerity measures and the introduction of the reform program, approved by the Eurozone countries.

However, the leaders of the IMF, together with the European Union, froze tranche of Greece’s verge of bankruptcy, until the moment when Greek officials will present a new pack of reforms prepared.

Greece last week passed a new reform project, hoping to get funding, but still, it has not been approved by the EU and IMF.

Delay of tranche size of 7.2 billion euros (7.9 billion dollars), which must be drafted to Greece, forced Athens to spend reserves to fulfill its financial obligations and make both ends meet.