“After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the legal and political conditions were created for this issue to be solved. But since then, German governments chose silence, legal tricks and delay,” Tsipras said in his speech in Parliament
“And I wonder, because there is a lot of talk at the European level these days about moral issues: is this stance moral?” he said. “Morals can not be a la carte in Europe”, he undelined.
In his speech Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused, Tuesday, Germany for using legal tricks to avoid paying reparations for the Nazi occupation of Greece and said he would support parliamentary efforts to review the matter.
His comments are likely to heighten tensions between Athens and Berlin as Greece’s new, leftist government struggles to persuade its euro zone partners to renegotiate the terms of a 240 billion euro ($260 billion) bailout.
The campaign for war damages has been waged for decades both by former Greek governments and private citizens. But it has recently gained momentum due to painful economic measures imposed on Greece under the international bailout deal.The Greek government has not officially quantified its reparation claims, and Berlin has long said that it has already honored all its war obligations, including a payment of 115 million deutschmarks (59 million euros) to Greece in 1960.
But Tsipras said the 1960 deal only covered compensation for the victims of Nazi horrors, not the destruction wrought on Greece by the 1941-1944 occupation during World War Two.
The suffering caused to Greece by the Nazis is undeniable. Yet at the same time, human suffering cannot really be measured. Independent historians unanimously agree that the total economically measurable damages suffered by Greece as a result of the German occupation, in both absolute numbers as well as proportionate to the population, put Greece in fourth place after Poland, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia., wrote Die Welt, in 2011, as Time had republished by that time
The Parliament plenum on Tuesday hold a debate on a proposal submitted by Parliament President Zoe Konstantopoulou for the re-establishment, reassembly and upgrading of the Parliament’s Cross-Party Committee to claim the German reparations and compensations, to pursue the repayment of the so-called occupation loan and the return of looted artifacts.
With her proposal, Konstantopoulou is asking for the re-establishment of the Committee which will be responsible for gathering and documenting of the indisputable historical data in an organized way that will effectively strengthen the Greek arguments for claiming what is owed to the country and get other European powers and international organizations involved in this effort.
Konstantopoulou proposed the participation of the Parliament’s President and Vice-Presidents or those filling-in for them in the Committee and in such a way that all parliamentary groups would be proportionally represented in it.
She also proposed that the members of the Committee do not get any compensation for their participation in it and that July 15, 2015 be set as a deadline for the submission of its report, while there would be the option for the renewal of its mandate and term.
According to Konstantopoulou, this is a national issue and everyone acknowledges the need for the parliament to get involved in it.
Sources: Reuters, AMNA,