Published On: Wed, Jul 10th, 2019

Germany news: Bombshell report on Greece WW2 reparations from Bundestag | World | News

A Bundestag reports put under the spotlight the response the Germany Government has so far given Greece over the demanded WW2 compensations. The Greek Government asked in early June, when it was still led by left-wing Alexis Tsipras, for a diplomatic note on reparations negotiations following a request by Athens’ Parliament. A Greek commission has estimated the war damage caused by Germany to the Mediterranean country amount to approximately £260.70billion (€290bn). 

Berlin has so far said it will not pay and refused to even get to a negotiating table with Athens.

But a report by experts in the Bundestag, Germany’s Parliament, may force Angela Merkel’s Government to reconsider its position.

A report by the Scientific Services of the Parliament and commissioned by the Left party said: “The position of the Federal Government is acceptable under international law, but by no means compulsory.” 

READ MORE: World War reparations: Greece DEMANDS €377 billion from Germany in ‘compensation’

The report added putting the matter to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to provide legal clarity.

The Court cannot act on its own as the dispute is based on facts that happened more than 70 years ago, which means the Government would have to agree to such a procedure.

But the Federal Government has rejected a judicial clarification of the reparations question.

The Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, Niels Annen of the SPD, said at the end of June, when prompted to address the Greek demands by the Left: “Neither side intends for the International Court of Justice to deal with the question of Greek reparations claims.” 

The Left party’s deputy Heike Hansel said: “The assessment of the scientific service shows that the Federal Government can no longer escape the historical responsibility.

“There must not be a ‘rule-off’ policy.”

He added that, so far, the Government has “completely failed on this issue, legally, politically, but above all morally”.

But the German Government said everything related to WW2 had been settled in 1990 with the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, also known as the Two Plus Four Agreement. 

The treaty, signed by East and West Germany – the Two – and the USSR, the UK, the US and France, allowed Germany to become a unified and fully sovereign country. 

In exchange, Germany accepted its existing border with Poland and renounced any other territorial claims.

The treaty doesn’t mention at all the reparation issues, and Greece was not admitted at the negotiating table.

It is not clear whether the new Greek Government, elected on July 7, will also demand reparations.

Newly-elected Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose centre-right New Democracy party won the absolute majority in Parliament, is expected to make his first trip abroad to Germany.   

(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg)

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