On Wednesday Greece’s Parliamentarians voted for a resolution which officially invites the government to claim World War II reparations from Germany.
Whilst each parliamentarian voted by standing up, the Communist Party (KKE) deputies remained seated, saying they supported their own resolution, which called for a claim to be filed both with Germany and with every relevant international agency.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said his government intends to immediately issue a note verbale to the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, “reiterating its inalienable claims arising from the Nazi invasion and occupation, as well as from the war crimes of Nazi Germany,” the prime minister said.
The reparations relate to infrastructural destruction, compensation to victims and relatives of war crimes’ victims, repayment of the loan Greece was forced to give Nazi Germany, and the return of looted archaeological treasures and heirlooms.
“Some have dared to assert that Greece has used its claims on Nazi Germany’s war crimes to negotiate better terms for its debt and its position in the European Union, but this repugnant idea only typifies those who thought of it,” said Tsipras, “neither Greece nor us.”
“I was the first Greek prime minister in Berlin to put forth the issue of reparations,” said Premier Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday, addressing the parliament’s plenary session on German WWII reparations.
Tsipras said the reparations are an ethical issue and comprise a serious claim. He said that today, more than ever, Greeks “ought to remember and honor those who fought against fascism.”
“The issue has a lot of aspects,” Parliament President Nikos Voutsis said, adding that the European Parliament and all national parliaments of the EU member states will be notified of the resolution once it is voted.
He said that the delay in the claims, following an official parliamentary report two years ago, was due to the fact that the government did not want to raise the issue until the end of the loan memoranda in Greece.
“Greece has never waived any of its claims against Germany,” he said, referring to the conclusions of the cross-party parliamentary committee, which also established that these claims cannot be written off or be considered to be expired.