Greece means to pay its debts in any way possible. At least that could be the conclusion of Greeks pushing for €279 billion in reparations from Germany for actions during World War II. It is unlikely Germany will make the payments.
According to German news organization Der Spiegel (translated by Google):
The Greek Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas has been called the first concrete figures: As Germany’s reparations for World War II, the government in Athens expect 278.7 billion euros.
The Greeks even have an audit to make their point:
“The auditors did a good job, as they have all the data collected on the subject of ‘German reparations’,” said Mardas. “All the files are complete.” The material now stand any competent authority available that would make use of it.
To make the argument even more powerful, Der Spiegel reports that a team working for the Greek Court of Auditors looked at about 50,000 documents.
The Germans have rejected the claims, and they almost certainly will continue to do so. They likely view it as a less than clever way for the Greeks to get out from under billions of euros in debt owed to the International Monetary Fund, European Union and European Central Bank. Some of that debt comes due in the next few months. As a matter of fact, almost all experts believe Greece cannot pay those near-term obligations, although the Greek government says it can meet the next installment.
As the debate continues about whether Greece will remain in the eurozone, Germany continues to be the government in the region most opposed to being lenient with the Greek government. The Greek argument for reparations from Germany would solve the problem, if only the Germans would make the payments.
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