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What Germany owes Greece

What Germany owes Greece

Germany ends World War One reparations after 92 years with £59m final payment
By ALLAN HALL Last updated at 1:19 AM on 29th September 2010 Comments (48) Add to My Stories Share

German Chancellor Adolf Hitler reneged on paying reparations Germany will finally clear its First World War debt by repaying nearly £60million this weekend. The £22billion reparations were set by the Allied victors – mostly Britain, France and America – as compensation and punishment for the 1914-18 war. The reparations were set at the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, by the Allied victors - mostly Britain, France and America. Most of the money was intended to go to Belgium and France, whose land, towns and villages were devastated by the war, and to pay the Allies some of the costs of waging it.


What Germany owes Greece

The initial sum agreed upon for war damages in 1919 was 226billion Reichsmarks, a sum later reduced to 132billion. In sterling at the time this was the equivalent of some £22billion. The German Federal Budget for 2010 shows the remaining portion of the debt that will be cleared on Sunday, October 3. The bill would have been settled much earlier had not one Adolf Hitler reneged on reparations during his reign. Hatred of the settlement agreed at Versailles, France, which crippled Germany as it tried to shape itself into a democracy following defeat in the war, was of significant importance in propelling the Nazis to power.

Prime Minister of France Georges Clemenceau (right) signs the Treaty of Versailles, an agreement of peace that officially ended World War One, and demanded Germany pay the Allies the equivalent of £24 billion


What Germany owes Greece

Kaiser Wilhelm II (left) took Germany to war in 1914, and after his country lost its economy was crippled West Germany, formed after defeat in 1945, took on responsibility for most of the outstanding principle and interest, settling the bill in 1983. But there was a clause in the so-called London Debt Agreement of 1953 that interest on multi-million pound foreign loans taken out in the Weimar Republic era, to pay off the reparations bill, should themselves be repaid if Germany were ever reunited. ● World War One lasted four years, three months and 14 days. ● It took the lives of an estimated 9.7million military personnel and 6.8million civilians. ● In today‗s money the war cost Great Britain alone £22,368,229,004.07 to fight. ● A British Tommy‗s basic pay in the war was one shilling a day, equivalent to 35 pence a week. ● The biggest war reparations demanded before the Versailles Treaty was 5.5billion in gold francs demanded by Prussia from France after its victory over it in the war of 1870-71. France paid if off within five years. ● In 1917, one year before the end of the war, Britain manufactured 186,000 tons of explosives compared to 144,000 tons by Germany. ● An estimated 40 million horses, dogs, carrier pigeons and other animals in the service of the armies of the Great War died in battle.


What Germany owes Greece

● The only British First World War veteran still alive is Claude Choules, 108, who served in the Royal Navy and lives in Perth, Australia. Harry Patch, the last foot soldier to survive, died aged 111 in July last year. Payments on this interest began again in 1996. 'On Sunday the last bill is due and the First World War finally, financially at least, terminates for Germany,' said Bild, the country‘s biggest selling newspaper. Most of the money goes to private individuals, pension funds and corporations holding debenture bonds as agreed under the Treaty of Versailles. The German government did not reveal how the money will be disbursed but it is understood that it is transferred to a holding account before being sent to the relevant bond and debt holders. Most of these are American and French. With the signing of the Versailles accord Germany accepted blame for the war which cost almost ten million men their lives. Article 231 of the peace treaty - the so-called 'war guilt' clause declared Germany and Austria-Hungary responsible for all 'loss and damage' suffered by the Allies during the war and provided the basis for reparations. France, which had been ravaged by war - its farmlands devastated by battles, industries laid waste and some three million men dead pushed hardest for the steepest possible fiscal punishment for Germany. The principal representative of the British Treasury at the Paris Peace Conference, John Maynard Keynes, resigned in 1919 in protest at the scale of the demands, warning correctly that it was stoking the fires for another war in the future. 'Germany will not be able to formulate correct policy if it cannot finance itself,' he warned. When the Wall Street Crash came in 1929, the Weimar Republic spiralled into debt. What the Bank of England calls ‗quantitative easing‘ now was started in Germany with the printing of money to pay off the war debt, triggering inflation to the point where ten billion marks would not even buy a loaf of bread.


What Germany owes Greece

More Allied leaders are shown signing the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919 - initially Germany were made to pay £48 billion in reparations

Crowds outside the Palace of Versailles await the signal that the peace treaty to end the First World War had been signed Read more:


What Germany owes Greece

Instead of another loan, why not get the war reparations from Germany?

It is as simple as it sounds. By now, everybody knows that Germany -as the defeated one- owes Greece (Hellas) war reparations from world war II . By now, every loss payee got reparation except Greece which -by the way- suffered the most, according to the Nazi minister of Economics and President of Reichsbank Walter Funk who stated: "Greece suffered the pain of war and its consequences like -maybe- no other european country". What is war reparation? War reparation or copensation is the obligation of the defeated nation to pay to the triumphant nation or coalition, a specified amount of money, (1) which cover the expenses of war and (2) the damages that suffered among with its citizens from this war. If the above definition of war reparation applies generally for nations that participated a war, it does much more for triumphant nations which during the war were under occupation by the defeated! Why now? Many say that Greeks (Hellenes) came up with the idea of war reparations because of their empathy for Germans after the offensive articles in the german media.

What Germany owes Greece

The truth is that Greece (Hellas) or better Greeks (Hellenes) never gave up their legitimate rights to these reparations. A chronic arquement of West Germany not to finally adjust the war reperations issue was that, for the crimes that were committed by 3rd Reich was not the only responsibe. The other Germany, the eastern part was also responsible and as long as Germany was divided the issue of war reperations could not be solved and a peace treaty should be made by a unified Germany! Well, in 11-9-1989 the Berlin wall fell. That was the first step. The second step was the nomismatic union of the two Germanies. And the third was the unification of the two Germanies in 8-30-1990. In September 12th 1990, between the major triumphant nations (as a representatives of all the triumphant nations) USA, USSR, Britain, and France, and the the two (under unification at that time) Germanies, was signed, in Moscow the "Treaty for the final regulation of the relations with Germany" (known as treaty 4+2 from the number of nations that signer the treaty). Among all in the treaty was stated that the unified Germany as a sovereign and independed nation can decide for its internal and external affairs. This treaty beyond argument is a peace treaty and as a result any demand fo payment from a state or civilians is legitimate! It is the corrupted political system of both Greece (Hellas) and Germany which deprived Greeks (Hellenes) from this moral satisfaction for their resistance to Nazis and the destruction of Greece (Hellas). Everyone in Greece (Hellas) -and not only- believe that if we' re going to get these reparations, now it is the time! Now that Greece (Hellas) need it more than ever! There are many who say that Germans should stand by Greeks (and many do) not only because it is a legitimate demand but for the moral issue of the case for both countries!


What Germany owes Greece

What does Greece (Hellas) is owed 1. War reperations is only the one third of the whole issue. It has to do with the destruction that the 3rd Reich caused to Greece (Hellas). Among with this, Greece (Hellas) and Greeks (Hellenes) also demand: 2. The payback of the loan to Germany (yes Greece lent money to Germany) of March 14th 1942 and, 3. the compensations to the victιms and their relatives for physical and property damages.

The destruction 1. Army: 13676 dead in the Greek Army (13408 in the army corps, 201 in the Navy and 67 in the airforce) and 42485 wounded. 2. Civilians: 68000 civilians were executed in 89 Holocausts. 35000 by the Germans, 25000 by the Bulgarians (allies of Germans) and 8,000 by the Italians. 190000 were prisoned. 100000 by the Germans, 55000 by the Bulgarians kai 35000 by the Italians.

What Germany owes Greece

88000 were arrested. 40000 by the Germans, 30000 by the Bulgarians and 18000 by the Italians. Incalculable is the number of Greeks who lost their life from starvation and hardship. Estimation: hundrends of thousands. 3. Greek (Hellenic) economy: 409000 buildings were destroyed (about 23% of the country' s) 2000 Kms out if the 2769 of Greece' s railroad system. From 7101 rail cars only 607 left. Railroad buildings were destroyed in a percentage of 60%. 70% of bridges, tunnels, and telegraphic facilities was destroyed. 75-80% of the national road and highway network was destroyed. All port facilities and the Corinth Canal were completely destroed. 11.658 out of 17.200 vehicles were either destroyed or seized. Telephonic and telegraphic networks were destroyed by 70%. Incalculable were the damages in the productive hydraulic facilities. Agricultural and animal husbandry were reduced by 60%. The same reduction suffered the industrial production. The Greek (Hellenic) fleet was reduced by 72% losing 1.407.821 tns of its total capacity. The inflation was so wide the the bread price raised as followed: April 1941, 10 drachmas January 1942, 230 drachmas July 1943, 2000 drachmas January 1944, 38000 drachmas September 1944 153000000 drachmas Greek loans to Germany In September 28th 1941 3rd Reich forced the Bank of Greece to pay monthly- 25 million marks for the expenses of the German Army. Long before the end of the war the amount that Greece lent Germany was 38 million golden UK sovereigns. At the end of the war the amount reached 45 million golden UK sovereigns or 4050 billions US dollars! From the amount above, Germany owed 3,5 billion dollars. A simple calculation, with annual interest 3%, the amount that Germany owes is 13 billion dollars (year 1995). In March 14th 1942 3rd Reich received a loan from Greece which reaches the amount of 54 billions Euros with the interests today.


What Germany owes Greece

89 Holocausts Among these, Greeks (Hellenes) suffered 89 holocausts. In Distomo June the 10th 1944 Germans execute 223 Greeks -civilians-: 20 babies, 45 children and 42 old men and women! On August 16, on the end of one the greatest holy days of the Eastern Orthodox church, the Dormition of Theotokos, the Mother of Jesus, the Germans, also in Epirus, destroyed the village Kommeno. There had been no incident to incite that massacre. Only a suspicion that there were guerrillas in its vicinity. This particular massacre has been studied by historians in some detail, because there were survivors who managed to escape by swimming the fast waters of Arahthos river on the south end of Epirus, or by hiding in the forested area bordering the village. In Kommeno, the Germans murdered 145 men, 174 women and 97 children, 414 in all. Twenty families were completely wiped out and 17 people drowned trying to cross the rapid currents of Arahthos. Thomas Kontoyannis was the only survivor of his large family. Twenty nine people bearing the same surname, five of them under 13 years old, were murdered. Kurt Waldheim, who reported the massacre of Kommeno, reported only the 145 men who were killed, making no mention of the women and children, and falsified facts by citing explosions of large quantities of munitions, which never took place. Eventually Kurt Weidheim became Secretary General of the United Nations and President of Austria. The massacres continued. More than 80 holocausts have taken place in Greece, in which the majority of the inhabitants were murdered, and a total of between 1,700 and 1,800 villages were burned, many of them totally. The Germans had developed the act of destruction to the level of a fine art: they spread the condemned structures with incendiary powders, which under fire from a gun or a pistol exploded into flames. They also developed the military vocabulary to match their unparalleled ingenuity of destruction: the elimination of a population, as in Kommeno, was a Clean-Up Operation Undertaking: Weidheim talks about Sauberungsunternrhmen Kommeno , for example. The troops charged and ordered to supervise the systematic looting of Greek households and farms were also given a name:Aufraumtruppen were the troops specialized in systematically stealing Greek property of value under direct orders from the highest command of the Wehrmacht.

What Germany owes Greece

The story of the Greek Holocaust would not be complete without mentioning some of the most notorious massacres. Those of Kalavryta, Distomo, Hortiati and Agios Georgios. In Kalavryta, 1,100 men 12 to 90 years old were executed on a gently sloping corn field outside the town, while the women of the village were held in the school house, which was set afire. The women broke the doors and escaped death , but the male population was killed in the largest one-day atrocity in a non-Slavic land. The date was 13 December 1943. That massacre did take place as a revenge for the killing of German prisoners of war by the ELAS andartes. But the Kalavrytan population was certainly not responsible for that act and in fact they had tried hard to safeguard the well-being of German prisoners that the andarteshad kept in their city. All the villages in the vicinity of Kalaryta suffered enormously at that time. Their inhabitants were massacred if apprehended, and their villages were destroyed. The monks at the Mega Spilaio, famous historic monastery, as well as the monks in Agia Lavra, where the Greek revolution of 1821 was first declared, were also murdered. Even a young child who was living with the monks did not escape death. And the Germans also killed systematically anyone they run across as they moved from one village to the other in search of victims.


What Germany owes Greece

The historical Archives at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens are replete with accounts of massacres perpetrated throughout Greece. Atrocities in which the eager Nazis exceeded the directive of 100 Greeks killed per German death abound. On 2 September 1944, at the village Hortiati, 20 kilometers east of Thessaloniki, the Germans executed 149 civilians of both sexes and all ages for the death of one German who was killed in a skirmish with ELAS. On 15 June, 1944, two German soldiers were wounded in a battle with ELAS near the village Ayios Georgios on the road from Levadia to Thebes. After the andartes left, the Nazis rounded up 26 men women and children from that village, ushered the men into a small house and killed them with machine gun fire while the women, older men and children watched. Then they executed the rest of the group, threw their corpses in the same small house, doused them all with gasoline and set them afire. An infant who had survived was thrown into the pyre alive. The massacre that took place on 10 June 1944 in Distomo surpasses in sadism virtually all massacres. On that day, the Germans gathered the residents of Distomo in the school building and slaughtered them in the most horrific ways. Two hundred and thirty two men women and children were tortured and killed in ways which we shall not detail here, out of respect for the reader.

source: &view=article&id=844&Itemid=857 June 2nd 1941: Holocausts in Kontomari and Kandanos (Crete) August 1st 1941: Holocaust of Skines: The Germans burned down the

What Germany owes Greece

village, sent the population in exile and placed a sign at the entrance of the village saying "GERMAN PROPERTY" October 3rd 1943: Holocaust of Ligiades: After the German killed 92 women, children, olden and women, the burned down the village. March 15th 1944: Holocaust of Kalogreza (Athens): 22 workers executed and 150 sentenced to death by Germans. April 5th 1944: Holocaust of Kleisoura (Kastoria): Germans execute 270 villagers. And many more... Victory for Distomo A few days ago the supreme court of Italy did credit to the relatives of Distomo Holocaust victims and opened the way for victims of other holocausts in Greece (Hellas) to follow! Finally The amount that Germany owes to Greece is estimated to one trillion euros. According to the international law war reparations do not expire. It is Greece' s choice to claim these reparations. And if german media and german politicians demand from Greeks (Hellenes) to pay for their "laziness", it is also time Germans paid the war reparations for their crimes! Because in this case i do not thing that "Arbeit macht frei"!


What Germany owes Greece Sunday, 9 October 2011

The forced occupation loan
Αναρτήθηκε από ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΗΣ στις 21:04 Ετικέτες War Reparation by Epaminondas Marias 24 Jan 2011

THE ISSUE of the German wartime compensation has now been put on the table. As we have already analysed in the Athens News, on 13 December 2010 the Greek government officially accepted in parliament that the relevant compensation claims of the Greek state involving Germany amount to a total of 162 billion euros without interest, 108bn of which concerns war reparations and 54bn the forced occupation loan.

The forced occupation loan was imposed by the occupying German and Italian forces on Greece under the terms of a unilateral decision which they took in Rome on 14 March 1942, and which was subsequently notified to the collaborationist government in Athens.


What Germany owes Greece

Under the laws of war in force at the time, in particular the 1907 Hague Convention, an occupied country had to bear the costs of its occupation. So the Germans and Italians forced the collaborationist government to pay them 1.5bn drachmas per month in occupation costs. However, the Germans, in order to fund Rommel‘s war operations in North Africa, imposed on Greece a forced occupation loan. Accordingly, the Bank of Greece was obliged to open an interest-free loan account in drachmas for each of the occupying powers. Germany stated that it would repay the loan later. The original, forced occupation loan agreement was amended later and was also signed by the collaborationist Greek regime. The amount of the loan received by the German side during the occupation was estimated in 1947 to amount to 135.8m dollars. It is worth noting that the German side already paid, during the occupation, two loan repayment instalments. The subsequent refusal to pay the loan instalments has since converted the loan into an interest-bearing one due to arrears. Finally, it should be noted that after the war Italy acknowledged its debt resulting from the occupation loan and proceeded to a settlement with Greece for its repayment in conjunction with the payment of related war reparations. The issue of the occupation loan was raised by the Greek side in 1955 when it was noted to the Germans that the occupation loan was still due since it was comprised of ―normal credits that should be paid‖. Then the question of the occupation loan was informally raised by Greece in 1964 through professor Angelos Angelopoulos.

However, the issue of the occupation loan was formally raised for the first time by Andreas Papandreou, then a member of parliament, when he visited Bonn in 1965. This is attested by the report submitted by Papandreou on 23 February 1965 to then prime minister George Papandreou, in which, inter alia, he referred to the occupation loan.

What Germany owes Greece

Then, on 24 February 1965, Andreas Papandreou submitted to the director-general of the ministry of finance of West Germany, a Mr Kaizer, a relevant statement regarding the loans granted, during the war, by the Bank of Greece to the German occupation authorities, in conjunction with the application for a longterm development loan to Greece. Since then, the issue was raised again in 1974 by Greek central bank director Xenophon Zolotas and verbally on 18 April 1991, by the then foreign minister Antonis Samaras to his German counterpart, HansDietrich Genscher. The occupation loan was then raised in the most formal way in 1995. So, following an order by then prime minister Andreas Papandreou to foreign minister Karolos Papoulias, the Greek ambassador to Germany, Ioannis Bourlogiannis, presented on 14 November 1995 to the state secretary for foreign affairs of Germany, Peter Hartmann, a relevant note verbale requesting the start of negotiations between the two countries on the issue of the war reparations and, in particular, the forced occupation loan. This note verbale was dismissed by the German government in a statement issued by Hartmann. Sixteen years later the Greek people still await its government to negotiate the repayment of the occupation loan and the payment of war reparations. And all this when, as mentioned above, the German side has actively acknowledged, since the occupation, its occupation loan debt to Greece by virtue of it having paid two loan repayment instalments to the Greek side. Epaminondas Marias is an associate professor of European Union institutions in the department of economics of the University of Crete Athens News 24/Jan/2011 page 15


What Germany owes Greece

Greek debt...what Germany owes Greece
As the Greek debt drama continues to unfold, here is a bit of an update on the situation with a reference to Germany's illegal occupation of Greece 1941-1944 and what it owes Greece today. The Greek Finance Minister, George Papaconstantinou aptly and metaphorically summarized the current Greek debt situation by saying: "We are trying to change the course of Titanic, it can't be done in a day". In an article written by Jan Strupczewski and Marcin Grajewski in February 15 online edition of Reuters." Today it's Greece. Tomorrow it can be another country". Any European country can be prey to speculative forces, is another utterance that would worry other EU-Eurozone countries. People remembering last year's near-crippling, global recession where many nations became vulnerable would make other nations think twice about their reluctance or obstructionism toward Greek economic deliverance. But, the ambivalent development that triggers ambiguity is that Germany (which supposedly holds one of the top levers of a Greek financial bail-out plan) has its people opposing any German-Greek bail-out package by up to 70 percent in a recent poll. But did the Germans contribute to the current situation stemming from their World War II illegal occupation and rape of Greece? In the Paris Reparations Agreement of 1946 the German war crimes against Greece were billed at 7.1 billion US dollars. A few years later, under the threat of the oncoming Cold War, Germany was already needed by the Allies in the struggle against communism. For this reason, it was agreed in the London Agreement of 1953 that the recognised reparation demands against Germany should be postponed – until a final settlement in a later peace treaty. Germany also during occupation (1941-1944) was given a mandatory loan from Greece (yes from Greece to Germany) to the size of 3,5 billions USD. A total sum of 10,6 billions USD at 1938 prices, not today. Even at a modest interest of 4%, this money accounts to 130 billions USD, half of the total debt of Greece! This war reparations does not take into account the cultural objects stolen of Greece stolen during occupation, neither the massacres of civilians in several cities as a revenge for the rebel fighters - over 300,000 Greeks died during the occupation and ensuing civil war. Before the minister of economy of Germany says that Germans are not liable of the faults of Greeks, he should pay back the faults of his ancestors, money that was lawfully is to be given to Greece, and then half of Greek debt will be paid! source:


What Germany owes Greece

German War Reparation to Greece!
According to the Paris Peace Treaties (Paris 1947) Germany owes to Greece War Reparations estimated (with the interests) about one (1) trillion euros! The issue came up the past few months along with the so called bankruptcy and became a popular demand (the payment) after the unacceptable articles, shows and commercials in Germany attacking Greeks showing them as the corrupted, lazy Balkanian living out of the "German tax payer" money.

It is a general belief in Greece that German major companies such as Siemens and Thyssen Crupp are some of the reasons of corruption in Greece. Siemens has strong "relations" with the greek political system since the 50's and recent disclosures show "sponsoring" with milions of euros for the two major political parties in Greece, PASOK and NEA DIMOKRATIA. Thyssen Crupp is also ingaged in a major scandal with the non functional submarines that costed 1,5 billion euros. Greeks believe that they have paid large amount of money to the Germans (Subway, National Airport, National roads etc.) because of their "relation" with the politicians and also believe that it is the same mechanism that makes German economy (economy is a greek word: οικονομία meaning the law=νόμος of the house=οίκος) strong and other economies weak! That Germany gained the most out of the nomismatic union! According to Eurostat regulations if Greece enregister this german debt of the war reperations to its state budget, automatically

What Germany owes Greece

(automatic comes from the greek word, αυτόματο) becomes a surplus budget. Germany must also enregister this debt and its state budget will become deficit, will not meet the MAASTRICHT criteria and german economy must be under surveillance. ...see video German leadership is aware of that fact and, in order to avoid it, placed a condition in the MEMORANDUM OF ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL POLICIES signed by GREECE, EE and the IMF. This condition orders that Greece cannot enregister to its state budget debts of other countries. The problem (for Germany) is thatGreece can override this condition because the MEMORANDUM is against the greek constitution which defines that in order to be active must be voted by the 2/3 of the parliamen which ofcourse did not happen. So Mr Papandreou' s governance must be kept on or else who knows what will happen if suddenly another greek govermen decide (legitimatelly) that the MEMORANDUM is no longer active?


What Germany owes Greece

Legal background of the Greek reparation claims
Does Germany pay selectively its WW reparations debts? In the Paris Reparations Agreement of 1946 the German war crimes against Greece were billed at 7.1 billion US dollars. A few years later, under the threat of the oncoming Cold War, Germany was already needed by the Allies in the struggle against communism. For this reason, it was agreed in the London Agreement of 1953 that the recognised reparation demands against Germany should be postponed – until a final settlement in a later peace treaty. Greece, which was not among the victorious powers, had no say in this. However, the Federal Republic of Germany made so-called global agreements with the West European countries in the 1960s, with which lump-sum compensation payments were made. A corresponding treaty was concluded with Greece for the sum of 115 million DM – a mere fraction of the actual debts. However, the victims of the armed forces crimes, forced labour or resistance fighters, for example, were explicitly omitted from these payments, and individual claims in the treaty expressly excepted. The Greek government has always maintained that no final settlement was reached with this global agreement – and even officials in the Federal Finance Ministry have conceded in writing that the Greek reparation claims were not fulfilled by this global agreement. After the German reunification, the time had come to negotiate a final ―Peace Treaty‖, as mentioned in the 1953 London Agreement. But this was deliberately avoided and a so-called ―2+4 Agreement‖ was concluded, which admittedly settled the renunciation of reparation claims, but only with the four ―Great Powers‖ among the former Allies. Greece and several other countries were given no share in the resolution of the agreement. They were unable therefore to make claims – or even to renounce them. Almost all legal experts now agree that with this ―2+4 Agreement‖ the London Agreement became invalid. In consequence, there is now the possibility for states and, if need be, individuals to validate the old claims – those claims that had been deferred since 1953 because of the London Agreement. This also applies to Greece and to Greek citizens. source: Hellenes on line

What Germany owes Greece

Eminent German scholar says Germany must pay war reparations to Greece
―The time has come for the German government to ―declare its willingness to discuss, with the Greek government, the victims and their relatives, what can be done to make amends for the deeds of this dark chapter in Germany‘s history‖.

―The German government must pay‖ wartime reparations to Greece for the 1941-44 Nazi occupation and the atrocities committed by the Nazi‘s in the country during World War II, according to an eminent German professor of international law.Professor Norman Paech, who teaches International Law at Hamburg University, said in an interview in the German weekly periodical ―Stern‖ that the German government was liable for compensation to the victims of the Nazi atrocities in Greece.―The German government must pay‖ wartime reparations to Greece for the 1941-44 Nazi occupation and the atrocities committed by the Nazi‘s in the country during World War II, according to an eminent German professor of international law. In the interview, appearing in the issue of Stern that hits the newsstands Thursday, Prof. Paech said that Germany must ―reconcile itself with the idea‖ that a recent Greek supreme court ruling recognizing the competence of Greek courts to rule on demands for compensation over the Nazi atrocities ―will have substantial consequences‖ as some 10,000 such lawsuits were outstanding, and the total compensation involved was tens of billions of deutschemarks. The Areios Paghos (Greek Supreme Court) ruled on April 13 that Germany must pay compensation to Greek victims of Nazi oppression, upholding a 1997 decision by a court in the city of Livadia to award 9.45 billion drachmas (about 35 million dollars) compensation to relatives of persons killed in the Distomo massacre by German troops in World War II. The ruling, which recognizes the competence of Greek courts to order Germany to pay compensation to victims of Nazi oppression, will allow individuals to file claims against Germany. But Germany has refused to entertain the possibility of more compensation payments, saying that no private citizen can sue a state and that Germany has already paid blanket compensation under postwar reparations to Greece. In 1960, Germany paid a total of 115 million German marks to Greek victims of Nazi racial discrimination. The relevant treaty signed


What Germany owes Greece

between Germany and Greece did not, however, exclude other Greek citizens with claims from coming forward and seek compensation. In a historical first visit by a German president, Johannes Rau visited the northern Peloponnese town of Kalavryta last month to commemorate the mass execution of 1,300 boys and men there by Nazi troops in 1943 in retaliation for the Greek Communist resistance groups‘ execution of 81 German prisoners. Paech, a respected lawyer who served as an advisor to the survivors and relatives of the Distomo massacre and is also well-known for his studies on the Kurdish issue — championing the Kurdish people‘s right to self-determination and even secession from Turkey — stressed the moral dimension of the German war reparations to Greece. He criticized the ―arrogant stance‖ of all the German governments to date, regardless of political party composition, that have repeatedly refused to discuss the reparations issue with Greece. ―It is not only the money that the victims are concerned about, but also the German side‘s acknowledgement of its responsibility for the crimes committed. The SS executioners, who executed 218 villagers (of Distomo) in retaliation against an attack by Greek guerrillas, still celebrate each year in Marktheinfeld (a town in Bavaria) their adventures in Greece and have still not given account for their deeds…‖ Paech said. The time has come, he said, for the German government to ―declare its willingness to discuss, with the Greek government, the victims and their relatives, what can be done to make amends for the deeds of this dark chapter in Germany‘s history‖. The Helmut Kohl-Klaus Kinkel government in 1995 rejected a Greek diplomatic ―note verbale‖ calling for the commencement of dialogue on the matter of the reparations, beginning with the repayment of a forced war ―loan‖ exacted by the Nazi occupation forces during WWII. The same policy line was followed by the Gerhard Schroeder-Joskua Fischer government, which rejected a similar request, by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis. On April 14, the day after the Supreme Court ruling, German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder told the German parliament that the issue of the war reparations–which, under the German government‘s rationale, includes the indemnities to the victims of the Nazi atrocities in Greece–was definitively closed. But the German President, Johannes Rau, presented a different stance during his visit to Greece in early April, when he expressed ―deep grief and shame‖ as he laid a wreath at the monument for the victims of the Kalavryta massacre. And in Thessaloniki, during a visit to the German School, Rau had said that, ―as an ordinary citizen‖, he believed that Germany should make a ―symbolic gesture‖, although he


What Germany owes Greece

did not know whether the German government would make such a move. Source: Athens News Agency, 27 April, 2000

Germany owes Greece a debt

Germany's ducking of the war reparations issue makes its attitude to the current Greek debt crisis somewhat hypocritical

o o o

Albrecht Ritschl, Tuesday 21 June 2011 16.36 BST Article history

German chancellor Angela Merkel. Photograph: Alik Keplicz/AP The Germans are not amused these days. Look everywhere from tabloids to the blogosphere, and it seems that the public mood has reached boiling point. Loth to shoulder another national debt increase and finance another bailout, the Germans have started questioning everything from the wisdom of supporting Greece to the common euro currency, or indeed the merits of the European integration project

What Germany owes Greece

altogether. This might be strange for a country that is nudging ever closer to full employment, and which is about to recapture its position as the world's leading exporter of manufactured goods from the Chinese. But the Germans say they've had enough: no more underwriting of European integration, no more paying for this and that, and certainly no more bailing out the Greeks. What is truly strange, however, is the brevity of Germany's collective memory. For during much of the 20th century, the situation was radically different: after the first world war and again after the second world war, Germany was the world's largest debtor, and in both cases owed its economic recovery to large-scale debt relief. Germany's interwar debt crisis started almost exactly 80 years ago, in the last days of June 1931. What had triggered it was Germany's aggressive borrowing in the late 1920s to pay reparations out of credit. A credit bubble resulted, and when it burst in 1931, it brought down reparations, the gold standard and, not least, Weimar democracy. Having footed the resulting massive bill, after the second world war the Americans imposed the London debt agreement of 1953 on their allies, an exercise in debt forgiveness to Germany on the most generous terms. West Germany's economic miracle, the stability of the deutschmark and the favourable state of its public finances were all owed to this massive haircut. But it put Germany's creditors at a disadvantage, leaving it to them to cope with the financial aftermath of the German occupation. Indeed, the London debt agreement deferred settlement of the reparations question – including the repayment of war debts and contributions imposed by Germany during the war – to a conference to be held after unification. This conference never took place: since 1990, the Germans have steadfastly refused to reopen this can of worms. Such compensation as has been paid, mostly to forced workers, was channelled through NGOs to avoid creating precedents. Only one country has challenged this openly and tried to obtain compensation in court: Greece. It may or may not have been wise to put the issue of reparations and other unsettled claims on Germany to rest after 1990. Back then, the Germans argued that any plausible bill would exceed the country's resources, and that continued financial co-operation in Europe instead would be infinitely more preferable. They may have had a point. But now is the time for Germany to deliver on the promise, act wisely and keep the bull away from the china shop.

What Germany owes Greece

Germany Was Biggest Debt Transgressor of 20th Century
Economic Historian

AP Former German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (left) during a meeting with the High Commission of the Allies in 1951: Eschewing of reparations demands "a life-saving gesture" Think Greece's current economic malaise is the worst ever experienced in Europe? Think again. Germany, economic historian Albrecht Ritschl argues in a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview, has been the worst debtor nation of the past century. He warns the country should take a more chaste approach in the euro crisis or it could face renewed demands for World War II reparations.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Ritschl, Germany is coming across like a know-itall in the debate over aid for Greece. Berlin is intransigent and is demanding obedience from Athens. Is this attitude justified? Ritschl: No, there is no basis for it.

What Germany owes Greece

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Most Germans would likely disagree. Ritschl: That may be, but during the 20th century, Germany was responsible for what were the biggest national bankruptcies in recent history. It is only thanks to the United States, which sacrificed vast amounts of money after both World War I and World War II, that Germany is financially stable today and holds the status of Europe's headmaster. That fact, unfortunately, often seems to be forgotten. SPIEGEL ONLINE: What happened back then exactly? Ritschl: From 1924 to 1929, the Weimar Republic lived on credit and even borrowed the money it needed for its World War I reparations payments from America. This credit pyramid collapsed during the economic crisis of 1931. The money was gone, the damage to the United States enormous, the effect on the global economy devastating. SPIEGEL ONLINE: The situation after World War II was similar. Ritschl: But right afterwards, America immediately took steps to ensure there wouldn't be a repeat of high reparations demands made on Germany. With only a few exceptions, all such demands were put on the backburner until Germany's future reunification. For Germany, that was a life-saving gesture, and it was the actual financial basis of the Wirtschaftswunder, or economic miracle (that began in the 1950s). But it also meant that the victims of the German occupation in Europe also had to forgo reparations, including the Greeks. SPIEGEL ONLINE: In the current crisis, Greece was initially pledged €110 billion from the euro-zone and the International Monetary Fund. Now a further rescue package of similar dimensions has become necessary. How big were Germany's previous defaults? Ritschl: Measured in each case against the economic performance of the USA, the German debt default in the 1930s alone was as significant as the costs of the 2008 financial crisis. Compared to that default, today's Greek payment problems are actually insignificant.

What Germany owes Greece

SPIEGEL ONLINE: If there was a list of the worst global bankruptcies in history, where would Germany rank? Ritschl: Germany is king when it comes to debt. Calculated based on the amount of losses compared to economic performance, Germany was the biggest debt transgressor of the 20th century. SPIEGEL ONLINE: Greece can't compare? Ritschl: No, the country has played a minor role. It is only the contagion danger for other euro-zone countries that is the problem. SPIEGEL ONLINE: The Germany of today is considered the embodiment of stability. How many times has Germany become insolvent in the past? Ritschl: That depends on how you do the math. During the past century alone, though, at least three times. After the first default during the 1930s, the US gave Germany a "haircut" in 1953, reducing its debt problem to practically nothing. Germany has been in a very good position ever since, even as other Europeans were forced to endure the burdens of World War II and the consequences of the German occupation. Germany even had a period of non-payment in 1990. SPIEGEL ONLINE: Really? A default? Ritschl: Yes, then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl refused at the time to implement changes to the London Agreement on German External Debts of 1953. Under the terms of the agreement, in the event of a reunification, the issue of German reparations payments from World War II would be newly regulated. The only demand made was that a small remaining sum be paid, but we're talking about minimal sums here. With the exception of compensation paid out to forced laborers, Germany did not pay any reparations after 1990 -- and neither did it pay off the loans and occupation costs it pressed out of the countries it had occupied during World War II. Not to the Greeks, either.


What Germany owes Greece

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Unlike in 1953, the current debate in Germany over the rescue of Greece is concerned not so much with a "haircut", but rather an extension of the maturities of government bonds, i.e. a "soft debt restructuring." Can one therefore even speak of an impending bankruptcy? Ritschl: Absolutely. Even if a country is not 100 percent out of money, it could still be broke. Just like in the case of Germany in the 1950s, it is illusory to think that Greeks would ever pay off their debts alone. Those who are unable to do that are considered to be flat broke. It is now necessary to determine how high the failure rate of government bonds is, and how much money the country's creditors must sacrifice. It's above all a matter of finding the paymaster. SPIEGEL ONLINE: The biggest paymaster would surely be Germany. Ritschl: That's what it looks like, but we were also extremely reckless -- and our export industry has thrived on orders. The anti-Greek sentiment that iswidespread in many German media outlets is highly dangerous. And we are sitting in a glass house: Germany's resurgence has only been possible through waiving extensive debt payments and stopping reparations to its World War II victims. SPIEGEL ONLINE: You're saying that Germany should back down? Ritschl: In the 20th century, Germany started two world wars, the second of which was conducted as a war of annihilation and extermination, and subsequently its enemies waived its reparations payments completely or to a considerable extent. No one in Greece has forgotten that Germany owes its economic prosperity to the grace of other nations. SPIEGEL ONLINE: What do you mean by that? Ritschl: The Greeks are very well aware of the antagonistic articles in the German media. If the mood in the country turns, old claims for reparations could be raised, from other European nations as well. And if Germany ever had to honor them, we would all be taken the cleaners. Compared with that, we can be grateful that Greece is being indulgently reorganized at our expense. If we follow public opinion

What Germany owes Greece

here with its cheap propaganda and not wanting to pay, then eventually the old bills will be presented again. SPIEGEL ONLINE: Looking at history, what would be the best solution for Greece -- and for Germany? Ritschl: The German bankruptcies in the last century show that the sensible thing to do now would be to have a real reduction of the debt. Anyone who has lent money to Greece would then have to give up a considerable part of what they were owed. Some banks would not be able to cope with that, so there would have to be new aid programs. For Germany, this could be expensive, but we will have to pay either way. At least Greece would then have the chance to start over. Interview conducted by Yasmin El-Sharif

Griechisches Protest-T-Shirt

Griechisches Protest-T-Shirt, das Angela Merkel in den Mund legt: "Ich schulde dir eine Trillion Euro und du fragst nach einem Darlehen Bravo George Papandreou."Quelle: dpa


What Germany owes Greece

Jacques Delpla: Germany owes Greece €575bn from WWII

Talking to Les Echos the French econonmist Jacques Delpla claims that Germany still owes €575bn as a result of World War. He calls on Greece to respect its engagements with Europe by being serious about reforms and repayment of the debt. And he calls on Germany to keep its engagements with Europe by continuing to support Greece. full article (in french)

Jacques Delpla : « L'Allemagne doit 575 milliards d'euros à la Grèce »
L'économiste, membre du Conseil d'analyse économique, a calculé que les Allemands doivent aux Grecs au moins 575 milliards d'euros au titre de la seconde guerre mondiale. Il estime que l'Europe doit absorber l'excès de dette en la refinançant par des taux d'intérêt très bas, en échange de réformes structurelles.


What Germany owes Greece

RECUEILLI PAR Catherine CHATIGNOUX Sous-chef de service L'accord des ministres des Finances, dimanche, en faveur d'une nouvelle aide à la Grèce et d'une participation du secteur privé au financement de sa dette va-t-il calmer durablement les marchés?

Les marchés, ce n'est plus vraiment le problème de la Grèce. Pour les 10 à 20 prochaines années, le financement de la dette grecque va être réalisé par deux moyens : pour une grosse moitié, par des financements publics et pour une petite moitié par les banques et les assureurs, via la fameuse « initiative de Vienne », c'est-à-dire le maintien de leur exposition. Il n'y aura plus de passage par les marchés. L'Allemagne a renoncé à sa proposition de rééchelonnement de la dette. C'est une bonne nouvelle ? Les Allemands n'ont pas vu que leur proposition d'échange obligatoire de titres de dette amenait tout droit à un défaut grec. Or s'il y a un défaut sur la dette grecque, c'est la faillite immédiate de tout son secteur financier qui est gorgé d'obligations souveraines. Aucune banque centrale ne peut refinancer de la dette en défaut : la BCE ne le fera pas. C'est donc l'attaque cardiaque immédiate assurée pour la Grèce avec une interruption du système des paiements domestiques, jusqu'au paiement des salaires et au fonctionnement des hôpitaux. La Grèce se retrouverait dans l'euro sans pouvoir utiliser l'euro. La seule solution pour elle serait alors de sortir de l'euro, avec une méga récession et le risque de contagion qu'on connaît.


What Germany owes Greece

Pour vous, c'est la solidarité financière qui doit l'emporter ? Tout le monde connaît la fable de la cigale et la fourmi. Mais l'histoire se poursuit car : c'est la fourmi qui a financé la cigale dans le passé et qui porte donc ses dettes; les grands parents de la fourmi ont exterminé les grands parents de la cigale et ils portent donc une lourde responsabilité politique et financière. Selon mes calculs, les Allemands doivent aux Grecs au moins 575 milliards d'euros au titre de la seconde guerre mondiale. Les Allemands doivent beaucoup plus à la Grèce que les Grecs ne doivent à l'Allemagne. Et enfin, ils habitent tous les deux dans le même building, et si l'on fait imploser l'appartement de la cigale, tout le monde s'effondre. La morale de l'histoire c'est que deux choses doivent à mon avis être respectées : le contrat de la Grèce avec l'Europe et le contrat de l'Allemagne avec l'Europe. Commençons par le contrat de l'Allemagne avec l'Europe. L'Allemagne a payé sa réunification en offrant sa monnaie et en acceptant l'euro. De leur côté, ses partenaires se sont engagés à être sérieux. Le contrat n'a pas été honoré. Et les Allemands pensent à juste titre que l'esprit du traité de Maastricht a été violé. Aussi il faut réformer l'Europe économique. Mais il faut aussi que chacun prenne ses responsabilités et partage le fardeau des erreurs commises et des pertes engendrées. Il faut que les Européens absorbent ensemble la dette excessive des trois pays (Grèce, Portugal et Irlande) en la refinançant par des taux d'intérêt extrêmement bas, à 3% ou 4%, pendant 10 ou 20 ans. En échange, ces pays doivent faire toutes les réformes budgétaires et structurelles nécessaires, pendant longtemps. C'est la seule solution. Les Allemands ne semblent pas très enthousiastes à cette idée ? Les Allemands oublient leur dette politique. Il faut le leur rappeler. En 1945 les vainqueurs de la guerre ont tiré un trait sur le capital humain et physique détruit par les Nazis. On a fait la CECA et le Traité de Rome. Le passif politique et financier de l'Allemagne au titre de la guerre se monte à 16 fois le PIB allemand, on peut appeler cela la dette implicite de l'Allemagne. On ne la lui réclame pas, en échange,


What Germany owes Greece

on lui demande de jouer le jeu européen, d'un point de vue politique et financier. Aujourd'hui, cela signifie sauver la Grèce. Les Grecs pourront-ils rembourser leur dette ? Ils le doivent ! Et ils le peuvent ! Ils doivent réformer, privatiser, en finir avec la corruption et le népotisme, et passer d'un déficit de -15% du PIB à l'équilibre en quelques années. Cela ramènera leur dette entre 60% et 90% du PIB d'ici 2025 à 2030. La Grèce a les moyens de prospérer : elle dispose du plus beau patrimoine archéologique du monde, d'îles magnifiques où il fait bon vivre. Je pense que le printemps arabe est une formidable opportunité pour ce pays, plateforme de l'Europe en méditerranée orientale. Vous excluez donc totalement l'hypothèse d'une restructuration ? On ne peut pas empêcher les gens de se suicider. Les Grecs ont le choix entre le toboggan et le saut en parachute... sans parachute. Ils doivent comprendre qu'il leur est impossible de conserver leur niveau de vie d'avant la crise, financé par un déficit budgétaire hallucinant. Soit ils choisissent le toboggan avec une baisse du niveau de vie de 10% sur 5 ans. Et ils y ont intérêt car l'aide européenne est considérable : elle consiste en une subvention implicite de taux d'intérêt qui représente de 15 à 20% du PIB grec (12% pour les Irlandais et 10 % pour les Portugais). Mais ils peuvent aussi démocratiquement refuser de relever ce défi. Mais alors, leur économie s'écroulera ; ils n'auront plus d'aide et ils devront sortir de l'euro... sans parachute. L'Allemagne réfléchirait pourtant sérieusement à une zone euro à deux vitesses ? Dans l'inconscient allemand, les Grecs ne méritent pas d'appartenir à la zone euro. C'est le discours de la droite conservatrice allemande qui rêve d'une zone euro avec Autriche, Slovaquie, Finlande, Hollande -et France pour des raisons historiques. Mais un tel système, la France n'en veut pas et surtout, il viole le contrat européen de base d'aprèsguerre. Si vous recréez une zone euro avec tous les bons élèves de la classe et une autre les pays périphériques, la deuxième explosera rapidement en hyperinflation.

What Germany owes Greece

Concrètement, comment va s'organiser la participation du secteur privé dans le financement à venir de la dette grecque ? L'idéal serait qu'on se fonde sur la répartition de l'exposition à la Grèce du secteur privé européen avant la crise et que les rachats de titres soient répartis en fonction. Cela permettra une répartition du fardeau, que j'estime à environ 100 milliards d'euros pour les banques et assureurs européens non grecs. Et cela évite que les banques qui ont joué le jeu d'un maintien de l'exposition ne soient pénalisées. Les banques allemandes trouvent le principe du « roll over » trop strict. Elles souhaitent des incitations pour leur contribution. Qu'en pensez-vous ? Les banquiers voudraient avoir été sauvés par les gouvernements et ne pas renvoyer l'ascenseur. Les dirigeants allemands n'ont pas été assez clairs à ce sujet avec leurs banques. Comment faire pour qu'une crise de cette nature ne se reproduise pas ? La solution que je préconise c'est de changer radicalement la structure du marché obligataire en Europe. On couperait les dettes de tous les pays de la zone euro en deux. D'un côté, la dette senior, dite bleue, jusqu'à 60% du PIB, que l'on mettrait en commun au niveau de la zone euro et qui serait gérée par une agence européenne de la dette. Elle représenterait 6000 milliards d'euros et deviendrait la dette la plus sûre du monde. Elle serait même moins chère que le Bund allemand ou les OAT françaises actuels car ce marché serait beaucoup plus vaste et liquide. Cela constituerait un concurrent au marché américain de la dette. A cette dette bleue serait attachée une garantie conjointe et solidaire dette, ainsi elle ne serait pas susceptible de faire défaut. A terme, ma conviction forte est qu'il n'y a pas d'avenir de zone euro sans une dette commune gouvernementale, la dette Bleue. D'un autre côté, au-dessus de ces 60% du PIB, la dette rouge, junior qui incorporerait l'ensemble du risque souverain. Elle pourrait absorber des pertes ou même faire défaut sans que cela ne provoque une catastrophe. La force des dettes

What Germany owes Greece

bleues et rouges est que ce système donne toutes les bonnes incitations : les taux d'intérêt monteront très en amont d'une difficulté. REPERE Comprendre la crise grecque DOSSIER La crise de la dette en Europe PROPOS RECUEILLIS PAR CATHERINE CHATIGNOUX ET RICHARD HIAULT

Germans group stages protest in Athens, demanding payment of WWII reparations
Αναρτήθηκε από ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΗΣ στις 17:42 Ετικέτες news, War Reparation

A group of German citizens gathered in protest outside the German Embassy in Athens on Monday to demand that German authorities pay Greece war reparations for Nazi atrocities committed during World War II.

Based in Hamburg, the group "Distomo" is made up mainly of German citizens and relatives of the victims of German occupation troops in Greece. Members of the group stressed that the amount due in restitution for atrocities plus interest comes to the sum of 126 billion euro, or roughly one third of Greece's total debt. According to veteran Greek politician Manolis Glezos, who is head of an organisation seeking payment of the German reparations to

What Germany owes Greece

Greece, Germany has a financial and moral obligation toward Greece and the total sum due, if one added unpaid war reparations, a loan that Greece was forced to make to Axis forces during its occupation and the damage to the Greek economy during that period, is as high as 1.5 trillion euro. The Distomo group's lawyers Martin Klinger and Gabriele Heinecke stressed that Germany had an obligation to withdraw its appeal at the International Court of Justice against an Italian court ruling awarding compensation to relatives of the victims of the Distomo Massacre.