March 11, 2015
A provocative Greek demand for war reparations from Germany suggests that relations between the country’s new hard-left government and its European creditors are as rancorous as ever as they embark on fraught discussions over a new bailout.
Alexis Tsipras, Greek prime minister, claims Athens is owed €160bn in compensation for a forced loan to Nazi occupiers and destruction of the country’s assets during the second world war.
“The crimes and disasters wrought by the forces of the Third Reich across Greece and the whole of Europe are still fresh in the memory of our people, and must be preserved among younger generations,” Mr Tsipras said in an emotive speech to parliament on Tuesday night.
He said Greece would “revive and strengthen” a special committee to pursue the reparations claim, warning that German-owned assets in Greece could be confiscated.