German couple pay Greece $954 “war reparations”
Tourists enter town hall to hand over check saying they want to make up for their government’s attitude.
German couple visiting Greece,walked into a town hall on March 18 and handed over €875 ($954) in what they said were Second World War reparations.Dimitris Kotsouros, the mayor of Nafplio,a seaport in the Peloponnese, said:“They came to my office yesterday morning,saying they wanted to make up for their government’s attitude. They made their calculations and said each German owed €875 for what Greece had to pay during World War Two.”Mr Kotsouros said the money has since been donated to a local charity.
"A German couple have been hailed as ‘heroes’ after paying out what they described as their personal share of World War II reparations to Greece."
The couple chose his town “because it was the first capital of Greece in the 19th century,” he added. Greek media identified the pair as Ludwig Zacaro and Nina Lahge. Ludwig is retired and Nina works part time. They did not have enough money to pay for two, one paper said. Athens is struggling under a debt mountain that amounts to about 175 percent of the country’s annual economic output. The country has long claimed that Germany owes it payment for a forced wartime loan and other reparations, and the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, recently said Greece had a “moral obligation” to claim payment.
Several senior Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens in Germany have also said their nation hould consider paying reparations. Nearly 70 years have passed since the end of the war, during which the Nazis occupied Greece for four years and forced the Greek central bank to give the Third Reich a loan that financially ruined the country. The dispute has grown in intensity because of tensions between Athens and the rest of the eurozone as Germany leads demands for economic austerity that Greece and other southern European countries are struggling to handle.
Figures from some sources in Athens put the amount still owed by Germany at around €162bn ($177bn), or more than half the level of debt that Greece is struggling with.
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