Pay war damages or will seize assets, Tsipras warns Berlin

(AGI) Athens, March 11 - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsiprasaccused Germany of using legal tricks in order to avoid payingfor the war damages produced during the Nazi occupation ofGreece. Mr Tsipras also warned that he will submit the issue tothe parliament in order to study a solution. "After thereunification of Germany in 1990, the legal and politicalconditions were created for this issue to be solved. But sincethen, German governments chose silence, legal tricks anddelays," Mr Tsipras told parliament. He added: "And I wonder,because there is a lot of talk at the

(AGI) Athens, March 11 - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsiprasaccused Germany of using legal tricks in order to avoid payingfor the war damages produced during the Nazi occupation ofGreece. Mr Tsipras also warned that he will submit the issue tothe parliament in order to study a solution. "After thereunification of Germany in 1990, the legal and politicalconditions were created for this issue to be solved. But sincethen, German governments chose silence, legal tricks anddelays," Mr Tsipras told parliament. He added: "And I wonder,because there is a lot of talk at the European level these daysabout moral issues: is this stance moral?". The Greekgovernment has never officially quantified the war damages tobe claimed from Germany, while Berlin said it has honoured itsobligations after paying 115 million old German Marks in 1960,which amount to 59 million euros. Mr Tsipras claims that the1960 payment only covered compensation to the victims of theNazi occupation and not the destruction suffered by Greece. The preceding government led by Antonis Samaras had estimatedthe war reparations that Berlin was to pay to Athens wouldamount to roughly 162 billion euros. Mr Tsipras considers theclaim made by Athens a "historical obligation", while Germanydoes not think it owes anything for war reparations. Thecrux of the issue lies in the 1953 London Treaty in whichBerlin and another 21 countries signed an agreement on thedebts incurred by Germany during WWI and WWII. The firstagreement concerned the 32 billion debt owed up to 1933, halfof which was cancelled and the other half paid on easy terms.As for the debts relating to the damages produced during WWII,it was decided to postpone the decision until after the Germanreunification. However, in 1990, the then GermanChancellor, Helmut Kohl, refused to pay for reparations,explaining that the claim was prohibitive and would bringGermany to bankruptcy. Starting from the 1960s, Berlin enteredinto voluntary debt compensation agreements with severalcountries for the damages caused by the Nazis, and Germanycompleted the debt payback plan imposed by the 1953 LondonTreaty in October 2001. (AGI). .