$7.4 Billion Still Owed To Greece From Two World Wars
ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Greece’s foreign minister said Friday it was time to press Germany for $7.4 billion it still owes Greece in reparations from two World Wars.
Andonis Samaras’ statement was in reply to allegations that conservative Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis had given assurances to Chancellor Helmut Kohl of Germany that Greece would not insist on the payments.
Samaras told Parliament the war reparations issue had been raised in 1972, but nothing had been done to collect the money ″because it was impossible to figure out what each of the two Germanys owed.″
But, he said, since reunification on Oct. 3, ″there is no legal obstacle and the issue of German reparations remains open in the direction of safeguarding Greece’s interests.″
Greece is owed about $240 million from World War I and $7.2 billion from World War II.
Since reunification, Germany had indicated it was not yet prepared to deal with the issue, Samaras said. He said Greece would ask other nations owed reparations by Germany to find out how they are confronting the problem.
Germany has so far paid $53 billion in reparation claims to various countries and individuals. The figure could reach $64 billion by the year 2000.