Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ push for World War II reparations for atrocities and damages wrought by the Nazis is getting sympathy from some German lawmakers.
Several senior Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens have for the first time said Germany should consider paying reparations, breaking ranks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government which has ruled this out, Reuters said.
That comes with Greece and Germany locked in a bitter battle over international bailouts backed by Berlin, but at the cost of harsh austerity measures.
Tsipras is due to meet Merkel in Berlin on March 23 even as he has backed away from campaign promises to seek debt relief and reverse pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings she insisted on.
One of his ministers raised the prospect of seizing German property to compensate victims of a Nazi massacre, drawing ire in Germany.
German officials said Greece received reparations already, including a 115-million-Deutschemark payment in 1960, but that hasn’t satisfied many Greeks, nor some Germans.
“We should make a financial approach to victims and their families,” said Gesine Schwan, a respected member of the Social Democrats (SPD) who share power with Merkel’s conservatives.
“It would be good for us Germans to sweep up after ourselves in terms of our history,” she told Spiegel Online. “Victims and descendants have longer memories than perpetrators and descendants,” said Schwan, twice nominated as a candidate for German President.
Germany, which wants to avoid a precedent, said that the the 1990 Two Plus Four Treaty signed by then-East Germany and West Germany and the four World War II allies before German reunification precluded future claims.Source: The National Herald