"Give us our money."
- The German bankers strut around demanding that the Greeks repay loans that should never have been made. But no one bothered to repay the Greeks after World War II.
|In Greece, it is estimated that 130,000 men, women, children and elderly people were executed, often as reprisal measures for fighting against the German occupation.|
In December 1942 Greece was forced by Nazi authorities to loan German 476m Richsmarks to cover the cost of the German occupation, which it says it has never been paid back.
€279bn is 125 per cent of Greece’s €223bn GDP; the money is around a tenth of Germany’s GDP.
The modern-day euro figure is the Greek government’s own calculation of what the loan would be worth today.
It is highly unlikely that Germany with accede to the demand, but the move by Greece’s government is domestically popular and will help it re-frame the debate about Greece’s debts.
The renewed demand for reparations comes after last year’s election of an anti-austerity Greek government led in bulk by the left-wing Syriza party (Coalition of the Radical Left).
The new government has pledged to take a harder line against Greece’s creditors, who it says have treated it unfairly.
The Axis WWII occupation of Greece had a devastating effect on the south European country's economy and led to hundreds of thousands of Greeks starving to death.
Greek resistance groups launched guerrilla attacks against occupying soldiers who requisitioned natural resources and other industrial and agricultural produce for the German war effort.
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|See more: Greco-Italian War|