Legal Experts: Greece Has Grounds for WWII Reparations



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A growing number of legal experts are supporting Greece’s demands over the German war reparations from the country’s brutal Nazi occupation during World War II. Despite the official German refusal to address the issue, legal experts say now Athens has ground for the case. The hot issue is expected to be brought up by Greece’s newly elected Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during his official visit to Berlin on Monday, where he is scheduled to hold a meeting with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The tension between the two countries have recently rose to unexpected levels and a series of events with the Finance Ministers of Greece and Germany, Yanis Varoufakis and Wolfgang Schaeuble respectively, and the war reparations issue — mainly by the Greek side — has significantly affected the already negative climate. The Greek leftist-led coalition government has repeatedly raised the issue causing Germany’s firm reaction as expressed by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who recently warned Athens to forget the war reparations, underlining that the issue has been settled decades ago. Central to Germany’s argument is that 115 million deutschemarks have been paid to Greece in the 1960s, while similar deals were made with other European countries that suffered a Nazi occupation.

At the same time, though, lawyers from Germany and other countries have said the issue is not wrapped up, as Germany never agreed a universal deal to clear up reparations after its unconditional surrender. The German answer on that is that in 1990, before its reunification, the “Two plus Four Treaty” agreement was signed with the United Kingdom, the United States, the former Soviet Union and France, which renounced all future claims. According to Berlin, this agreement settles the issue for other states too.

“The German government’s argument is thin and contestable. It is not permissible to agree to a treaty at the expense of a third party, in this case Greece,” international law specialist Andreas Fischer-Lescano said, as cited by the Reuters. Mr. Lescano’s opinion finds several other experts in agreement. One of them, the Greek lawyer Anestis Nessou, who works in Germany highlighted that “there is a lot of room for interpretation. Greece was not asked, so the claims have not gone away.”

Parallel to the above, another separate and still open issue regards the forced occupation loan taken from the Bank of Greece (BoG) in 1942, in order to fund the Nazis military campaign in northern Africa. The official German position is yet again the same: This is already covered. “The view of the German government is embarrassing. The Nazi regime even calculated how high the repayments should be on the loan,” historian Hagen Fleischer told Germany’s ARD television. What the experts say is that Greece could take the forced Nazi occupation loan to an international court, while increasing voice in support of the Greek demands are also heard in the Bundestag, the country’s federal Parliament. “It is about recognizing the fact that we committed a serious injustice in Greece,” the chairwoman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Values Committee, Gesine Schwan, told Der Spiegel last week.


10 COMMENTS

  1. “Greece Has Grounds for WWII Reparations”. So does half the known World………….move on and deal with today’s problems of your own making.

  2. You should learn a little history. When the leftist resistance movement in Greece took power in Greece after WW2, the US and Britain overthrew it by backing the right wing in a civil war. They were also behind the junta of 1967. They decided what reparations Greece and other nations were to get, without even input from the governments they put in place, favoring fascism, which they’d just been in a life or death struggle with, over anything vaguely communist. The Greek people have just been pawns for the corrupt governments, oligarchs, and financial institutions created after the war. Now Germany, their old enemy, has enslaved them again. The problem isn’t Greece. They didn’t create the world financial crisis. The huge banks did, and came out far richer for it. But you want to punish people who’ve had no heat all winter and are being evicted from their homes so Blackstone can buy them for almost nothing.

  3. We are all aware of the history. Doesn’t alter what I said. Whoever is “backed” it pisses on somebody else’s chips.

  4. I am not without sympathy for the end result of 50 years ………..as you say, taken a long time to get to this and be pussy cats. Lots of nations lost a lot of lives to Germany and Greece is not the only country to be pushed into austerity by the few manipulators and greedy b——s. If they have been s—- on for 50 years as claimed then get a grip. I have visited Greece dozens of times and it is so obvious that half the economy runs outside the tax system. Barber/hairdresser retires at 50 on full benefits paid for by who? Not a happy thought for barbers elsewhere working until almost 70 and still putting into the pot.

    WW11 Deaths………….(just a few – Russia is into millions)
    UNITED KINGDOM 388,000
    NETHERLANDS 210,000
    GREECE160,000

    It is all sad beyond belief.

  5. Is it owed all to Germany or the EU in general? Germany is not alone in asking for some better input from Greece. ENOUGH!

  6. WW11 Deaths………………(just a few – Russia is beyond belief!!)
    UNITED KINGDOM 388,000
    NETHERLANDS 210,000
    GREECE160,000

    The Germans were very busy!

  7. For the Size of Greece , 160,000 make Greece the most suffering country %percentage-wise.
    From other sources I see Greece lost 10% of its population more than any other country. (Again $-wise)

  8. As I said! Surely we are not gong to debate how shit each sad was? 10%…………………5%………………………! If it was one of yours the % is a bag of shite!!!! A lot to answer for whatever the percentage. How much blood on the street does 160,000 look like compared to 210,000?

  9. Are you demented? Greece lost one and a half million CIVILIANS ..to mass executions and starvation.Have you read NOTHING on this subject…you dimwitted opinionated clot?Try reading something.Start with Mark Mazower’s acclaimed and definitive study ‘Inside Hitler’s Greece”..to correct your gross ignorance….and desist from offering opinions on matters you know absolutely nothing about.Stupid man.

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