Published: Sun, January 13, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Greece tells Germany to pay up over World War II

Greece tells Germany to pay up over World War II

In a more accurate translation, the chancellor said Germany was "conscious of historical responsibility" over the "suffering" caused by the Nazis in Greece.

Visiting a German School of Athens on Friday, Merkel told pupils she did not accept her critics' assertion that receiving refugees sent the "wrong signal". "The Situation on the Islands is still very, very challenging", she said, in view of the especially on the Aegean Islands of Lesvos and Samos furthermore, the dramatic conditions in the refugee camps.

Tsipras also highlighted the rising danger of the far right in Europe and the role that the dominant economic dogma played, in his opinion, in feeding the growth of far-right and anti-European populism, highlighting the need to counter this by building a social Europe and a new architecture for the Eurozone.

To relieve chronic overcrowding on Greek Aegean island reception camps, Greece recently brought thousands of asylum-seekers to its mainland, but on Wednesday Oxfam say many others, including unaccompanied children, had been abandoned.

The EU's "hotspot" screening system on islands had from the start been unable to cope, Oxfam said, citing cases of pregnant women being sent from camp clinics back to tents.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted Germany's "historic responsibility" for Nazi crimes in Greece during the Second World War, though she failed to address the matter of reparations.

The issue of past injustices resurfaced during Greece's 2010-2018 economic bailout phase, with Germany targeted for painful cuts imposed by worldwide creditors. It has denied owing anything to Greece for World War Two since it paid Athens 115 million Deutschmarks in 1960. "We agreed today that for the refugees that do not come from Syria but from other countries, the EU-Turkey agreement will not apply and we will try to find other ways of support", she said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday during her joint press conference in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras that she was "grateful to him for working with the Prime Minister of FYROM, Zoran Zaev in reach a solution to the decades long 'name" issue, adding that the deal with benefit both countries.

Merkel's statements follow those made five years ago by the German president at the time, Joachim Gauck, who publicly asked for "forgiveness in the name of Germany" from the families of the victims of a massacre carried out by the German army during the occupation. Tsipras's junior coalition partner, the right-wing Independent Greeks, has vowed to walk out of the government if the deal is ratified.

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