Dendias: German war reparations to Greece still "remains open"

Nazis Acropolis Athens Greece Germany war reparations

The issue of Germany paying war reparations to Greece for its crimes during World War I and II "remains open", according to Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Greece's top diplomat stated this in Warsaw during a meeting with his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau. He noted that the solution of this issue is fundamental for the Greek society as it “will be beneficial for all the countries involved and EU in general."

More than a year ago, in April 2021, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that they were insisting on negotiations with Berlin on the issue of reparations for the damage that was inflicted on Greece during the two world wars by Germany.

Even earlier, on June 4, 2019, the Greek Ambassador handed over a note to the German Foreign Ministry, in which Athens called on Berlin to negotiate a settlement on the issue of paying war reparations and compensation for damage.

In April 2019, by an overwhelming number of votes, the Greek Parliament adopted a resolution instructing the government to demand that the German side pay war reparations: 309.5 billion euros for World War II and 9.2 billion euros for World War I.

Another 107.2 billion euros is also being demanded by Greece as compensation for the death and injury of people. The resolution notes that Greece has never abandoned its claims against Germany.

However, Germany rejects the demands of the Greek authorities. Allegedly, Germany fulfilled all obligations when it paid 115 million marks in 1960.

The cost of the damage caused by Nazi Germany in Greece during the war has been estimated at €289 billion ($339 billion) by a Greek parliamentary commission. That amount includes a loan that Greece was forced to grant the German central bank.

After invading Greece on April 6, 1941, German armed forces went on to carry out numerous massacres in the country, with tens of thousands of civilians dying during the conflict.

Germany has said it considers the issue to have been resolved by the so-called Two Plus Four Agreement, signed in 1990, which allowed the united Germany to become fully sovereign the following year.

The signatories to the treaty were the former East and West Germanies and the former occupying powers, France, the US, Britain and the Soviet Union.

Reparations were not explicitly mentioned in the document. Countries such as Greece and Poland that had been invaded by Germany in the war were not included in the negotiations for the treaty.

A Bundestag report in 2019 found that Greece's claims did have legal weight, calling the German government's position "acceptable" but "by no means compulsory" under international law.

READ MORE: WORLD WAR II: The forgotten history of Sweden's aid contribution to Greece during Axis occupation.