Greece says Germany owes it more than $300 billion in World War II-era reparations for the Nazi occupation of the country.
“According to our calculations, the debt linked to German reparations is 278.7 billion euros,” Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas told a parliamentary committee that is investigating Greece’s debt crisis.
The figure, which is about $305.17 billion, comes from the country’s General Accounting Office and includes an occupation loan the Nazis forced the Bank of Greece to make.
The BBC says it’s the first time Greece has set a figure on what it says Germany owes it for the Nazi occupation of the country in the 1940s. Reuters adds: “The campaign for compensation has gained momentum in the past few years as Greeks have suffered hardship under austerity measures imposed by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in exchange for bailouts totaling 240 billion euros to save Greece from bankruptcy.”
Germany has rejected Greece’s claims of wartime reparations, saying it settled the matter with a payment in 1960.
Greece’s government, which is led by the left-wing Syriza party, has blamed Germany for the economic hardships the country has undergone following the global recession in 2008. The government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is trying to renegotiate the approximately $260 billion bailout from the EU and the International Monetary Fund that prevented Greece from going bankrupt.
Deutsche Welle adds:
“Debtors had been concerned after speculation that Athens may default on its repayment of 450 million euros, due on April 9. However IMF chief Christine Lagarde announced that Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had confirmed his country would pay back the money. Varoufakis also said his country would try to seal an initial deal with the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund by April 24.”