German Deputy Government Spokesperson Ulrike Demmer on Wednesday ruled out WWII reparations from Germany to Greece. Responding to a question on a report by Bundestag, he said the matter has been “definitively settled, politically and legally.”
“We were informed of Bundestag’s opinion,” said Demmer in reference to the report which points out that although the German position can be supported by international law, it is not absolute.
Ms Demmer said that “nothing has changed” in the German government’s stance, and she noted that German Chancellor Angela Merkel also expressed this while in Athens, in her meeting with Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos last January.
“After World War II, Germany clearly recognized its responsibility for the victims of national socialism. One cannot reverse the injustice perpetrated. This is precisely why we want to continue our efforts for reconciliation and to look together towards the future,” he said.
Demmer clarified once more, however, that “nothing has changed, in principle, in our legal position.”
Responding to a question as to whether Germany is interested in clarifying the legal issues, Demmer reiterated the German position and noted that “we will also work in dialogue with the Greek government on continuing our reconciliation work.”
On behalf of the German Foreign Ministry, spokesman Rainer Breul explained that neither of the two sides is seeking to involve the International Court of Justice on the matter, repeated Demmer’s words, and added that there was no legal ambiguity in them.