Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made an effort to bring the matter of German war reparations to the fore during his press conference at the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair (TIF)on Sunday. Responding to a question by Der Spiegel on Greece’s national strategy regarding reparations, Tsipras appeared upbeat over the matter and referred to his speech at Kommeno, Arta, on August 16, where he had spoken of a national strategy.
“This matter is not a communicative tactic for us, but a matter still open,” he said. “It is a matter of honor to Greece and the Greek people, and it is a matter that does not involve conflict between Greece and Germany, but concerns the German people, Europe in general and European nations that stood up against Nazism.”
“We will not make hasty moves, however, it is not a matter that we will leave in some drawers, forgotten in history as had been done by previous governments,” he said. “As you know, for the first time there were findings by a Greek Parliamentary committee. As you also know, these findings have officially found their way to the European Parliament. We are making some co-ordinated moves, and the timing of our next move will depend, of course, on the official reaction of the German side, but also on whether we deem it to be the right time. Because, let me repeat, we don’t want to create communicative fireworks, but to close this issue that has been open for years, and I believe that we will successfully do this.”
The Greek PM’s optimism was not shared by the German Foreign Ministry spokesman who ruled out any discussion on the matter of war reparations.