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Germany rejects Greek demands for Nazi crime reparations

By Ians English

Berlin, March 12: The German government has rejected Greek demands for reparations for Nazi crimes during the Second World War, according to media reports.

"The question of reparations and compensation is completed legally and politically," said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Wednesday, responding to Greek Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos's demand that German property should be confiscated by Greece, according to a Xinhua report on Wednesday.

Germany: No Nazi reparations

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had asked Germany on Tuesday to pay reparations and indemnities.

He also accused the German government of using legal tricks decades ago to avoid reparations for German occupation during the Second World War.

Seibert said that it was clear that Germany is "absolutely and constantly aware" of its historical responsibility "for the suffering that National Socialism brought (to) many countries in Europe".

"We should focus on the issues of the present and the hopefully good future for our two countries," said Seibert, adding that the issue was not addressed either in the talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Tsipras, or between Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis.

There have been disagreements between Germany and Greece over the latter's debt crisis and Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had urged Germany not to humiliate Greece over its debts.

Among the eurozone countries, Germany is seen as the strongest opponent to any reduction of Greece's 323 billion euro ($369 billion) debt.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel had ruled out any cancellation of the debt, which is about 175 percent of Greece's GDP, and said that lenders had already made concessions.

German lawmakers last month approved the extension of a Greek bailout programme.

The far-left Syriza party, which came to power in Greece in January, is opposed to austerity measures and had made debt reduction and renegotiation of the bailout agreement a priority.


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