German apologies for WWII war crimes are not enough: Greek ex-President

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International conference on war reparations from Germany scheduled for June

Pavlopoulos pointed out that both Poland and Greece demand reparations from Germany for losses sustained during World War II. In the case of Greece, in addition to individual victims’ claims, there is the additional matter of a loan the country’s central bank was forced to give to Germany during the occupation.

“The Germans have confirmed their obligations by paying the first installments of the loan during the war,” said Pavlopoulos. But most of the loan has not been paid back, and no further installments were paid back following the German defeat in 1945.

The former president called on Germany to assume responsibility for its actions, stressing that politics is an art of doing what is possible, and what is possible here is the matter of reparations for World War II damages being put forward to an international court.

According to Pavlopoulos, the most appropriate institution to deal with the matter would be the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

International cooperation needed

“We need international cooperation to in reaching justice and obtaining compensation for the victims of armed conflicts,” Poland’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Arkadiusz Mularczyk said at an international conference in Athens on Tuesday.

“Reconciliation is achieved through discussion,” Mularczyk said, opening the conference which was dedicated to the legal aspects of obtaining compensation and reparations after the conclusion of armed conflicts.
As he pointed out, Germany signed a number of agreements on reparations in the aftermath of World War II, but Poland, which suffered among the greatest losses during the conflict, was party to none of them.

Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, former ambassador of Greece to Poland, said that the matter of reparations should not be only a matter of bilateral talk with Germany, but also on the forum of various international institutions. He brought up the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) as an example.

“Poland and Greece must apply pressure on Germany from all sides: in the European Commission, in the European Parliament, and even the OSCE,” Chrysanthopoulos told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

“The next step should be a conference like the one today, but organized in Germany. And perhaps not dedicated strictly to legal matters, but more available to a broader audience,” he added.

Not just Poland and Greece

The Tuesday conference was attended by lawyers from Greece, Italy, and Serbia, who presented cases of reparation claims against Germany from their own countries.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024