June 4, 2019 / 6:30 PM / 12 days ago

Greece calls on Germany to negotiate over war reparations

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has sent a diplomatic note to Germany urging it to discuss Athens’ claim for war reparations, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The Greek parliament voted in April to launch a diplomatic campaign to press Germany to cough up billions of euros in damages for the Nazi occupation of the country in World War Two, an issue Berlin says was settled long ago.

Germany has in the past apologised for Nazi-era crimes but has not been willing to reopen talks on reparations.

“The Greek government invites the German government to a negotiation for the practical satisfaction of these demands, which are of particular importance to the Greek people, as a moral and material issue,” the ministry said.

Greece’s ambassador to Berlin delivered the note to the German foreign ministry on Tuesday, it added.

Greece suffered hugely under Nazi German rule and the emotive reparations issue resurfaced during its debt crisis, which erupted in 2010.

Many Greeks blame Germany for the painful austerity measures imposed in return for billions of euros in bailout loans.

A Greek parliamentary committee in 2016 put the total cost of reparations at more than 300 billion euros, though the recent parliamentary decision mentioned no figure.

The leftist government’s move, which comes ahead of a snap national election next month, may further strain ties with Germany.

Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Editing by Gareth Jones

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