07:17 GMT +324 July 2019
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to Greek President during a meeting in Athens on January 11, 2019

    Merkel Recognises Nazi Crimes in Greece, Remains Silent on WWII Reparations

    © AFP 2019 / Louisa GOULIAMAKI
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    Greece has raised the issue of war reparations from Germany on several occasions, with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos telling Angela Merkel that Athens has grounds to pursue legal claims for billions of euros.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted Germany's "historic responsibility" for Nazi crimes in Greece during the Second World War, though she failed to address the matter of reparations.

    "We know how much suffering we, as Germany in the time of Nazism, have brought to Greece," the German chancellor said.

    While speaking at a joint press conference with Merkel in Athens on Friday, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos stated the country has grounds to pursue a legal claim for billions of euros in reparations for the WWII crimes committed by the Nazis.

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    "As Greeks, we consider these demands legally active and (can be) judicially pursued and should be solved in the competent European forum, judicial forum," the president emphasised.

    Merkel has been in Greece since 10 January 2019, with the issue of war reparations being in the media spotlight. Pavlopoulos reiterated Athens' demand for reparations in mid-December during the anniversary of the massacre in the Greek village of Kalavryta, where the male population of the village was nearly exterminated by the German army in 1943, pointing to the need for compensation for all of Nazi Germany's, in addition to the occupation loan.

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    In 1942, during the Nazi occupation of Greece, the Greek national bank was forced by Nazi Germany to pay out an interest-free loan of 476 million Reichsmarks, which was used to finance the cost of occupation and other military activities. Since the loan was never paid back, Greek authorities concluded that Germany still owes Greece around $12.48 billion.

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    Tags:
    Nazism, reparations, Second World War, WWII, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Angela Merkel, Germany, Greece
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