Greeks Seeking WWII Reparations From Germany


The Greek Finance Ministry is setting up a working group to determine how much Germany might owe the Mediterranean nation in reparations from World War II.  The move is unlikely to improve already strained relations between the two countries. Greek Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said:

The German reparations are a particularly complex legal issue and subject to study and settlement at an international level in accordance with the rules of international law,

and continued:

The case is still outstanding, and as a country we reserve the right and the possibility to manage it to a satisfactory conclusion.

Germany has already paid WWII reparations to Greece and other countries, though as noted over at Bloomberg the German Constitutional Court has ruled that Germany does not have to pay reparations to individuals.

With the Greek government struggling to meet the conditions necessary for future bailout installments it is not surprising that some new and imaginative measures are being explored in order to raise some cash. One might think a less delicate proposal could have been suggested.

Even with the reparations that could be owed the Greek government would still have to implement serious reforms. It is estimated that Germany could owe Greece 7.5 billion euros and perhaps as much as 70 billion euros.

It is not clear that the Greek government would receive all of the reparations even were the Germans to agree to pay. Although some of the reparations being examined deal with loans the Greeks were forced to hand over to Germany, past German reparations for WWII took many different forms and would not necessarily help the Greek government meet austerity targets.

Germany has been the source of much Greek animosity recently. As one of the most influential donors to the European bailouts Germany has been blamed for much of the austerity being inflicted on Greece. Quite why some Greek officials seem to think seeking WWII reparations will help matters is anyone's guess.

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  1. Yeah, lets make Germany pay reparations for the last world war. What could possibly go wrong?

    1. I say the Greeks should ask for $20 trillion. And make territorial demands and ask for Germany to admit guilt for starting the war.

      Did I miss anything?

      1. Make Mercedes Benz give all of its patents and machine tools to a Greek company.

        1. I bet the Italians jump in, too, demanding reparations for the German sacks of Rome.

          1. Germany should demand reparations from France for Louis XIV’s sacking of the Rhineland. The French can counter demand reparations for Lothar’s treachery at the Field of Lies.

            1. Fuck it, might as well hit the Italians up for Caesar’s invasions too. Come to think of it, asking for reparations from Greece for Alexander would be hilarious on multiple fronts:

              1. Direct mirror to Greece’s reparations request.

              2. If they decline responsibility say “Oops, sorry,we should’ve asked Macedonia, of course” and watch the apopolexy start.

              1. I bet you could get the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt to ask the Greeks for reparations for Alexander.

                1. I wouldn’t open that door, because the Zoroastrians have a claim or two in Iran and Iraq.

              2. Oooh, MACEDONIA BURN!

            2. Damn it, I thought my Belisarius joke was funny but you guys had already been MUCH funnier.

              The Macedonia taunt would be sweet indeed.

      2. Just the part where Germany tells Greece, “no bailout for you!”

    2. On the topic of History, there was a time when Greece’s second-largest city had a majority Jewish population. And unlike the French, the Greeks actually did something to prevent the deportation of the Greek Jews to the camps. Unfortunately, they weren’t that successful. Today, Thessalonica’s Jewish population is around 0.25 percent.

  2. Wow. I knew I should’ve taken a left in Albuquerque.

    1. a left would lead to crystal blue persuasion

  3. Does this also include before the war, when they wiped out that island the Ark of the Covenant was opened on?

  4. The Greeks can certainly ask for reparations.

    But I don’t see how the Germans can be made to pay reparations.

    As someone once asked: “You and what army?”

    1. I’m actually a bit concerned the tensions could conceivably be building towards a real soldiers-and-tanks type conflict.

      1. Germany’s remaining four planes and five tanks will rule!

        1. Greece isn’t exactly armed to the teeth either. They’ve cut pretty much most of what was remaining of their defense budget.

          I cannot begin to imagine what Greece is thinking here.

          1. “Empathize with stupidity and you’re halfway to thinking like an idiot”

            ? Iain Banks

          2. Nerf swords!

          3. Actually, Greece did have Arm Forces. The only way they managed to sneak into European Union was to NOT include military spending in their so-call budget.

      2. Germany is neutered and Greece couldn’t invade a Gyro shop.

        1. Don’t the Germans have mandatory military service?

          Not too hard to go from 0 to European conquest when all your adult males have been through Basic already.

          1. I would say the Germans would use their Leo-2s, and roll right over the Greeks, but I find out the Greeks bought old Leos.

            Hmm. Force-on-force with the same equipment and training and doctrine making all the difference. Man, all the war nerds would be making popcorn and staying up all night to watch this one, me included.

            1. Seriously, who do think actually did their training and performed the maintenance on their Leopards?

            2. training and doctrine making all the difference.

              So, the Germans roll right over the Greeks.

          2. I’ve trained with German soldiers – they don’t fuck around. And their tankers operate with… Teutonic efficiency.

            Plus, the Germans could actually produce more weapons after initial combat losses. Greece would be looking for arms dealers willing to take a post-dated check.

            1. I suspect the Germans, if sufficiently pissed off, could rearm quite quickly.

              1. Will the UN Defend Greece if attacked by Germans?

                1. I’m sure a couple dozen troops from Senegal will tip the conflict in favor of the Greeks.

                2. Will the UN Defend Greece

                  With what?

                  1. They could drop boxes of food on the heads of German soldiers.

                  2. Harshly crafted word and gestures.

                3. Will the UN Defend Greece if attacked by Germans?

                  Why do you want the Greeks to have their children sold into prostitution AND be invaded by the Germans.

          3. For many years they did, but this has been lifted. Most adult males will have some military training, but as the days slip by those men creep into middle age. That being said, the small German army would still kick the living shit out of Greece. Somewhere in history I seem to recall the Germans being good at warfare…

      3. Greece moves on Germany, then Turkey moves on Greece? Who do we side with, and will we finally convince France to go along with us?

        1. The Turks still have an army. They would roll the Greeks. Maybe a few hundred years under the Turkish yoke might be a just punishment for the lazy bastards.

          1. By “under the Turkish yoke” you mean sodomy, of course.

            1. For Greeks, is that supposed to be punishment or reward?

            2. “Joey, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?”

          2. That’s what I was thinking. After the US UK, Turkey is probably the best-armed NATO nation. Ataturk was a hoss, and they’ve never really let their military slip like the other Euros did. Frankly I have a hard time thinking they would rule the place any worse. Shit, Greece was better off as an Ottoman province than it has been for most of it’s history since independence.

              1. All your ampersands are belong to us

                1. GODDAMNIT I forgot about that.

                  *US AND UK

            1. Wasn’t it the Ottomans who blew up the Parthenon, supposedly accidentally? Really who stores gunpowder at an ancient landmark?

          3. They didn’t have that happen between the fall of Constantinople and the siege of Vienna?

        2. Who do we side with,

          I vote that we side with the US.

          1. What, just sit back and not participate in a war engulfing continental Europe? You know that won’t happen.

            1. Europe like Africa, East Asia, the Middle East, and Central and South America, needs US leadership or something.

          2. I vote that we side with the US.


            This discussion needs more Civil War…

            …and Cow Bell.

    2. Hey they each have like a a hundred thousand troops; that’s enough to get some mayhem done.

  5. Shouldn’t the Greeks being asking Bulgaria and Italy for reparations as well?

  6. It’s like they’re deliberately provoking Germany. That seems smart to me. Really.

    Hermes: We can’t compete with Mom! Her company is big and evil! Ours is small and neutral!

    That Guy: Switzerland is small and neutral! We’re more like Germany, ambitious and misunderstood!

    Amy: Look, everyone wants to be like Germany, but do we really have the pure strength of will?

  7. My grandparents please forgive me, but I am about ready for the Germans to be Germans again. This is ridiculous.

    1. Fuck it. The Russians wanna be Russians again. Letting the Germans be Germans again is probably not a bad idea. Especially if the Chinese get hungry.

  8. I think they are trying to lay the groundwork for a partial default, where they unilaterally declare that the Germans owe them some ridiculous sum, and say that they will take payment by cancelling debt to that amount.

      1. Oh, the EU in its current form is done.

        They overreached with the Euro. The process of dismantling that colossal act of hubris will have collateral damage to all sorts of other EU arrangements.

    1. Germany shouldn’t have been stupid enough to give away money. They have no reason to expect anything back.

      I feel the same way about everybody who owns U.S. worthless paper.

  9. The Greeks are entitled to reparations from the gang of thugs that was the Third Reich. Trying to take it from the current generation of Germans is just a transparent attempt to find someone — anyone — to steal from rather than fixing the runaway Greek welfare state.

    The Germans should tell them to go pound sand.

  10. This must be like pr0n to Pauly Krugnuts. Another world war will surely boost aggregate demand.

    1. The more windows we break, the more we sell!

      Krugman should be doing cheesy commercials for local retailers.

      1. I’m a terrible person for thinking this, but it would be fun to do a drive-by of Krugman’s house and break a bunch of windows… but leave him a note detailing how it’s economic stimulus, and for the greater public good.

        1. You could just smash his mailbox.

          1. Ideally as he’s reaching in to get his mail. OK, maybe that’s too mean.

  11. Let the great money grab begin! With any luck a good old fashioned European land war will solve everything to everyone’s satisfaction.

  12. As Snoop Dogg would say, it’s time to sit back and watch the pandemonium.

  13. The current German state can just deny continuity with the Nazi regime and not pay them a cent.

    The GDR and the West German republic were created by the superpowers out of whole cloth. There was no institutional continuity between those states and the Nazi regime at all.

    If Germany owes Greece for the Nazi conquests then the Italians, Tunisians and Spanish should demand reparations from Greece for damage done during Belisarius’ conquests during the reign of Justinian.

    As an alternative, Germany could say, “Fine, you’re right, we want to pay you back when the Nazis stole,” and then they should print up a few billion Reichsmarks and drop them on Greece out of a helicopter.

    1. Really, the Greeks should just sell their islands and the Acropolis to Germany. The Germans have always been nuts for the classical period; here’s their big chance.

      1. They are still whining about Acropolis statues in the British Museum. Just because stupid lazy Greeks were grinding them into mortar and the British saved them, doesn’t mean the Greeks didn’t value them or something.

    2. Considering that being a member of the Nazi Party alone was considered by the allies to be a crime and Nazi Germany was divided and occupied for nearly ten years, saying there is “no continuity” is an understatement.

      1. That’s a bit of an overstatement. There were plenty of party members who were cleared due to not having had high-ranking posts in the gov’t. They were issued something called a “perzilshein” (obviously not the correct spelling, but it’s phonetic) certificate indicating they were cleared of wrong-doing.

        Hell, if we were serious about that crap, how many arch-criminals did we take into our rocket program afterwards?

        1. Sure. But we still arrested the entire government, sorted them out, and then after several years let only a few of them back into the new government. If that doesn’t break continuity, nothing does.

    3. “There was no institutional continuity between those states and the Nazi regime at all.”

      The GDR wasn’t much different, but it did use different names. Similar uniforms, though.

      Of course, the GDR is kind of, well, not there any more either.

      1. So we have a state that ceased to exist. It was utterly wiped out.

        It was physically erased from the map and its government was completely dismantled.

        The remaining territory is occupied and administered by conquerors for several years.

        New states are set up by those conquerors.

        Decades pass, and even one of the new states ceases to exist.

        It’s as if you blew up Microsoft headquarters and cancelled its stock, then kept the land its HQ is built on as a public park for a few years, and then split that land into two parcels and built new company HQ’s on it, and then one of those new companies collapsed, and then somebody finds an old accounts receivable from Microsoft in a desk drawer somewhere and tries to sue the remaining company.

        1. Yeah, if these weren’t sovereign nations it’d be facially ridiculous. The territorial association of sovereigns are the only thing that doesn’t get this laughed out of the room immediately.

  14. How do you say, “HEY LOOK OVER THERE!” in Greek?

    1. I’m putting you in my will for one internets.

    2. How do you say, “HEY LOOK OVER THERE!” in Greek?

      Big Wooden Horse.

  15. You know who else really liked the idea of Germany paying reparations for a World War while everything thinks that Germany is completely disarmed?

    1. 1930’s France?

  16. One might think a less delicate proposal could have been suggested.

    “Less” delicate?

    They already pulled the “fuck you we’re not paying you back what you leant us”-card…

    …and now they’re going a step further and using the, “oh – by the way, your Nazi ancestors fucked shit up around here… we wants moar your shit now…”-line

    What ‘less delicate’ proposal had you imagined? That the Greeks reveal they have pictures of Angela Merkel getting gangbanged by donkeys are are totally uploading them to Facebook unless they get another $100bn to cover them for the weekend?

    The bastards probably have a better case suing the @#*($ italians, who really are the ones who forced Greece into WWII. But a) the greeks more or less whooped them, and b) the bloody Italians are as broke as they are.

    1. The Greeks and Italians have been lazy drunken bastards for going on 1500 years. Only socialists could have been dumb enough to have thought going into a monetary union with them was a good idea.

      1. Actually, the city states that were later amalgamated into the illegitimate entity of Italy were very productive and some were pretty free. They were a light in the dark ages. Then bright-guy Garibaldi came along…

        1. The Venetians were generally giant assholes who stuck it to the entire Med.

          1. I bet they had nice top hats and monocles, though.


  17. Can I seek reparations for what my family lost during the Russian Revolution?

    1. Sure, send Putin an email and see how far that gets you.

      1. Should I mention my family members shot by Stalin’s goons?

        1. Only if you don’t mind getting a bill for the bullets.

    2. No. Would you like to join my class action suit? I hear Minsk is quite nice in the summer.

      1. err….yes. Dammit.

  18. Ha-haaaa, Greece is going to Godwin Europe. Awesome.

    1. Europe is self-Godwining.

  19. “Seeking” and “collecting” not same thing, Archduke.

    Seek away.

    1. Good point.

      1. If someone were to assassinate our beloved Archduke, would it be casus belli for another world war?

  20. German individuals to not collectively owe anything to Greece, Poland, Jews, or anybody for shit that people who are dead now did a long ass time ago. Sunk costs, get over it whiny bitches.

  21. Apparently Greece still refuses to acknowledge that you simply DON’T MESS WITH GERMANY! Idiots

    1. Although Greece becoming a German colony might actually be the best thing to happen to them. Germany would quickly make Greece a manufacturing hub of frozen gyro meals..

        1. Excellent name for a sidekick in a steampunk comedy.

        2. A Reuben Gyro would be excellent… probably, if the right combination of ingredients was done. But aren’t Reubens Russian?

          1. What? No. It’s German. And if it isn’t, it’s Lithuanian. Of course, either way, it’s American.

            I’m thinking I’d like to try this combination, but I’m not sure about the details. Do you just replace the corned beef with gyro meat, or is that too unnuanced? Hmmm, maybe the meat swap and a sauce swap–tzatziki sauce instead of Russian/Thousand Island dressing?

                1. tis’ it is.

  22. I hear Iran is having an inflation problem. They should ask reparations from Greece for Alexander the Great.

  23. You know what would really burn Greece’s ass? If they have to start competing for menial jobs in Germany with Turks.

  24. When are the Greeks going to pay reparations to Troy?

  25. So now we know why Greece can’t balance its budget. WWII. All makes sense.

  26. Come on dude, sometimes you jsut have to roll with it.

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