Greece seeking WWII reparations from Germany

Greece is pursuing diplomatic and legal avenues to force Germany to pay reparations for its occupation of the country during World War II.

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras on Tuesday called on Germany to enter into negotiations over paying reparations for its occupation of the country during WWII, while Berlin maintains it has expansively settled the issue in the past.

Tsipras made his comments during a commemorative ceremony for a Nazi massacre of 317 civilians in the northwestern village of Kommeno in 1943.

He said his government was acting on the recommendations of a special parliamentary committee which recently prepared a report on German war reparations.

The findings have not been made public, but media reports quoted the total sum of 300-400 billion euros (US$340-$450 billion).

Nazi Germany invaded Greece in April 1941 together with Fascist Italy. The occupation lasted until Germany and its ally Bulgaria were forced to withdraw under Allied pressure in early October 1944.

However, German garrisons remained in control of Crete and some other Aegean islands until surrendering these islands in May and June 1945 at the end of the war.

The occupation ruined the Greek economy and brought about terrible hardships for the Greek civilian population. Over 40,000 civilians died in Athens alone from starvation, tens of thousands more died because of reprisals by Nazis and collaborators.

Incidentally, Germany is the primary European contributor to Greece’s massive bailout program.

By: World Israel News Staff
AP contributed to this report.