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Greece to pursue wartime damage claim from Germany to ease economic woes

Greece to pursue wartime damage claim from Germany to ease economic woes
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Greece says it plans to pursue Germany for billions of euros in compensation for damage suffered during World War II as a way of easing its debts.

The move is likely to put a further strain on relations between Athens and Berlin.

Media reports say Greek experts have concluded the country should receive 162 billion euros; 108 billion for wartime damage to infrastructure and 54 billion for a loan that the occupying Nazis obliged Athens to take to pay Berlin. It supposedly adds up to 80 percent of Greek GDP.

“We will exhaust all means that exist to reach a result, and for as long a time and with as much effort as is needed,” the Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos told parliament.

He added that the finance ministry has put together a dossier with six decades of documentary evidence.

The claims are not new but take on extra significance because of widespread anger in Greece over austerity measures imposed by creditors – mainly Germany.

Greece argues the move should not be seen as an act of aggression and says it is not comparing Germany today with its Nazi past.

Berlin says the question of reparations relating to the Nazi occupation 70 years ago has already been settled.