Germany has confirmed that the chances of it paying reparations for World War II to Athens was "zero". Greece's new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had demanded the same in his first major speech to parliament on Sunday.
Tsipras, who had promised to end Greece's five years of "humiliation and suffering" and its "vicious cycle of austerity", laid out his plans during the speech. Ruling out any extension of its 240 billion euro international bailout, Tsipras vowed that he would seek World War II reparations from Berlin, reports Reuters.
A demand for a similar compensation, based on the fact that German troops had occupied Greece during the World War II, was revived by a previous Greek government in 2013 but it was not pursued.
Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's vice chancellor and economy minister had outrightly rejected the demand and said that the possibility of making such payments to Greece is zero. He further added that a treaty signed 25 years ago has wrapped up all such claims. He was referring to the "Treaty on the Final Settlement with respect to Germany", also known as the "Two plus Four Treaty" signed in September 1990, by the former West and East Germanys and the four World War Two allies just before German reunification.
The complicated history of the two nations was brought back to limelight following the financial bailout of Greece, which was funded by euro zone partners. Many Greeks blame Germany for the austerity, leading to the revival of a dormant claim against Berlin for billions of euros of war reparations.