Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Merkel says Germany recognizes responsibilty for Nazi crimes in Greece

Police Tear Gas Greeks Who Defied Ban on Protesting Merkel Visit		ARIS MESSINIS  AFP  Getty Images11 Jan 2019 Police Tear Gas Greeks Who Defied Ban on Protesting Merkel Visit ARIS MESSINIS AFP Getty Images11 Jan 2019
Melinda Barton | 13 January, 2019, 13:47

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) chats with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos during their meeting in Athens on 11 January 2019.

A previous mistranslation of Merkel's statements claimed the chancellor expressed that Germany "took full responsibility" for the Nazi crimes in Germany.

To relieve chronic overcrowding on Greek Aegean island reception camps, Greece recently brought thousands of asylum-seekers to its mainland, but on Wednesday Oxfam say many others, including unaccompanied children, had been abandoned.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted Germany's "historic responsibility" for Nazi crimes in Greece during the Second World War, though she failed to address the matter of reparations.

Germany will continue to support Greece in this new stage, she stressed, repeating the remark she made also on Thursday upon her arrival in Athens during the first meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Tsipras, who was in opposition during Merkel's last visit, was asked about his demand back then that Merkel go back to Germany.

"We are against and we demand that our country be liberated from the shackles of the European Union and the debt load", Nikos Adamopoulos, one of the leftist protesters, told Xinhua.The German leader is scheduled to hold a meeting with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and main opposition New Democracy party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday before departing from Athens.

Berlin argues that its payment to Athens of 115 million deutschmarks in 1960 (€59 million in today's currency) - coupled with a 1990 treaty at the moment German reunification - settled the issue.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European spirit has been strengthened through the management of common challenges and Europe will have a better future through cooperation and not nationalism.She gave a joint statement to the press with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday at the start of her two-day visit to Athens, reported Xinhua news agency."We have been through hard years".

Greece was forced to hand over 476 million reichmarks, which Greek officials have estimated at $69.14 billion (6-10 billion euros).

Also in 2014, ex-president Joachim Gauck sought public forgiveness in the name of Germany from relatives of those murdered by the Nazis in the mountains of northern Greece.