Greece demands German war reparations; support for SYRIZA grows

Greece demands Germany pay war reparations

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has proposed creating a joint commission of Greek and German experts to address the issue of World War II reparations, TeleSUR English said on March 23.

“Athens wants to come to an agreement regarding the issue of reparations, we need to find a common denominator,” Kotzias said. The foreign minister added that he prefers a political solution to the issue, rather than a legal one.

Athens has renewed old claims against Germany for 20th century atrocities committed in Greece by the Nazis — damages a Greek auditing office estimated could run as high as US$340 billion.

Greek deputy defence minister Kostas Isihos told Sputnik news agency last week that he had made an official request for Moscow to provide Athens with any archive documents on the German occupation that might aid Greece in receiving reparations from Berlin.

Kotzias traveled to Berlin ahead of a visit by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who arrived on March 23 for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on bilateral relations, the financial crisis and EU affairs.

Support for SYRIZA grows

Despite a recent impasse in negotiations between the SYRIZA government and lenders that brought threats of Greece leaving the eurozone (a “Grexit”), SYRIZA's support among Greek people has risen, GreekReporter.com said on March 21.

A poll by Metron Analysis for weekend newspaper Parapolitika found 47.8% of people would vote for SYRIZA if elections were held now, up from the 36% the radical left party won on January 25. SYRIZA's support is now more than double its nearest rival, the former ruling right-wing New Democracy party, which has slumped to 21.1%.

The vast majority of Greeks are also in favour of remaining in the eurozone, with the poll finding 84% say they prefer the euro, while only 13% would like a return to the drachma.

It also found 60% of Greeks believe European powers should back down in negotiations to cut Greece's debt. Eighty percent of Greeks are optimistic that a solution would be negotiated.

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