Greek Finance Ministry Calculating German War Reparations Bill

Greece’s Finance Ministry will calculate the country’s claim for World War II reparations against Germany, Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said.

The General Accounting Office will make the calculation for the first time, Staikouras said today in response to a question from a lawmaker from the Independent Greeks party. The ministry has begun collecting archival material to be examined by a group of experts, he said.

“The German reparations are a particularly complex legal issue and subject to study and settlement at an international level in accordance with the rules of international law,” Staikouras said. “The case is still outstanding, and as a country we reserve the right and the possibility to manage it to a satisfactory conclusion.”

Some Greek politicians have evoked memories of the country’s Nazi occupation during World War II since the start of the country’s debt crisis. During the country’s election campaigns in May and June Independent Greeks demanded Germany pay reparations.

Greece has in the past decade had to juggle claims on war reparations from Germany with close bilateral relations between the countries. The claims include compensation for loans the country was forced to make to Germany during the Nazi occupation.

Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled in March 2006 it didn’t have to pay compensation to individuals seeking damages over war crimes committed during World War II. Germany paid 115 million deutsche marks ($74 million) to Greek victims of Nazi crimes under a 1960 treaty, in addition to funds paid out to victims of forced labor under the Third Reich, German Foreign Ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke told reporters in 2010.

To contact the reporters on this story: Antonis Galanopoulos in Athens at agalanopoulo@bloomberg.net; Marcus Bensasson in Athens at mbensasson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Maria Petrakis at mpetrakis@bloomberg.net; Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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