According to reports in the Greek press, the committee was expected to submit its report by the October 31st, 2014, where it would argue whether the Greeks state can demand reparations from Germany over the damages suffered and occupational loan.
The committee recently argued that the Greek efforts must be increased in order to inform the public, both domestically and internationally.
It should be reminded that in mid April, 2013, the Greek parliament unanimously agreed to formally ask Germany to pay back the money owed from the Second World War. This includes the war reparations as well as a forced occupation loan. A committee was formed despite the provocative statements made by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble at the time claiming that Athens should avoid the issue of war reparations and rather concentrate on reforms. He was ofcourse weary over a top-secret report that was compiled at the behest of the Finance Ministry and leaked by the To Vima newspaper. The report suggested that Germany owes Greece at least 162 billion euros in World War II reparations.
Following the publication of the report, Schaeuble told Germany's Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung newspaper that the issue of war compensations has already been “settled.”
But the German Tagersspiegel newspaper, slammed the Berlin government's stance on the issue noting that the Nazis did more damage in Greece than in any other country they occupied. In fact the newspaper had said that Hitler’s forces were responsible for the death of countless citizens, or 70,000 Jews (who were taken to concentration camps), 300,000 people (who suffered frostbite and hunger because the German forces confiscated all food and fuel), and let us not forget that at least 50 percent of Greece’s infrastructure as well as 75 percent of the country's industry were totally destroyed.
In the document that was revealed in To Vima, the German Embassy responds to a note verbale that was issued by Greece on November 9, 1966 to Bonn about this very issue. In this document, it explicitly states that Greece never abandoned its right to seek war reparations (and/or compensations).
According to the newspaper, in October 1965 (and following previous meetings in September 1964 and March 1965,) discussions were held in Athens between Greece and Germany on the issue of war reparations (and/or compensations). To Vima says that the late George Papandreou and his son Andreas Papandreou (grandfather and father of George Papandreou, respectively), were also present at these meetings. It is suspected that they were there in order to discover what happened with the matter during Constantine Karamanlis' rule and possibly use this against the conservative government.
To Vima said that the Papandreous (father and son) never received a formal response from the German government because their term in government came to a quick end. Nonetheless, on March 31st, 1967, just three weeks before the Junta took over in Greece, the German document was handed over to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where it clearly states that Greece has never abandoned its intentions to seek war reparations (and/or compensations). Unfortunately, the political developments that followed in Greece in the weeks after that placed the issue (as well as a series of others) on the back burner for decades.
At the same time it allowed the socialists, and leftists to accuse the late Constantine Karamanlis of abandoning claims on German war reparations, when all the while he never did.
In its note verbale, dated March 31, 1967, Protocol No. 68/67, the German Embassy in Athens states to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs the following:
"During the exchange of opinions between his Excellency the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Gerhard Schroeder, which took place in Athens on October 15, 1966, Greece, among other things, raised the issue of claims (war reparations) which the Bank of Greece states it has (information on) against Germany, and which derive from specific financial firms, (forced occupation loan), made during the German occupation of Greece in World War II.Basically, Schroeder refers to several letters that were sent from the the Director of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr. Reinhardt, and dated September 30, 1964 to the late George Papandreou as well as to the Director of the same Department Dr Kaiser, and a March 26, 1965 letter to Professor and MP at the time Andreas Papandreou.
The letters refer to statements made by representatives of the Greek government in 1958 on the occasion of completion of the agreement between the German Government and Greece granting a credit of 200 million marks.
In view of the above agreed German economic assistance, the Germans interpreted the statements made by Greek representatives at the time and believed that future possible claims from the time of the German occupation would never be followed. But interpreting statements, and formally acknowledging them with documents is two different things.
The German federal government knows very well that interpretations cannot really hold up in a court of law, and they also know that the Greek government never had an intention of formally abandoning the claim for war reparations, (and/or other compensations).
"It may be noted that the decision of the German government to provide a credit of 200 million DM was inspired by the friendly relations between Germany and Greece and the desire to help Greece, regardless of the legal situation which has been created by above Agreement (meaning the war reparations)."The German document, according to the To Vima newspaper, totally -and without a shadow of a doubt- debunks all the myths (and socialist PASOK lies) that Greece had abandoned its claim to war reparations (and/or compensations) that were artfully cultivated in the past for obvious political reasons.
This incredible document only proves that Greece never waved its rights. At the same time it debunks the argument from Germany that the issue was closed with the 1960 Convention, since it was issued seven years later!
The issue of war reparations has been a contentious and legally complicated one for decades. Nazi Germany, which occupied Greece from 1941-44, forced Athens to extend it loans and give up gold reserves. There was also the question of the destruction of infrastructure and compensation claims filed by individuals who survived Nazi atrocities. As a result, Greece suffered greatly and unlike every other country Germany went to war with, only Greece has never been paid compensation.
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