Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was in Greece for an official visit, during which time he apologized for “horrors” committed during the Nazi occupation.
The visit comes just weeks after both the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras and President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, made references to their country’s claims against Germany for billions of euro in reparations from the Second World War.
Steinmeier visited a former concentration camp in Haidari, in western Athens, used by the Nazis.
He said his country still bears the “moral and political guilt” of crimes committed but stopped short of commenting on Greek claims for financial reparations.
A government spokesperson in Berlin, however, called the matter closed.
Germany’s government spokesman Steffen Seibert said at a news conference in Berlin that “The reparations issue was legally and politically settled.”
During his meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, he brought up the issue of the rise of the right wing in his country.
“We must take steps to convince European citizens that is it possible to emerge, together, from crises- we must keep extreme and populist voices at bay,” he said.
Neither Tsipras, nor Steinmeier brought up the reparations issue but the German President told Tsipras “We ask forgiveness for atrocities” committed and “we do not want to forget the past.”
Since you’re here… I have a small favor to ask.
More and more people than ever before are reading The Pappas Post and despite increasing costs to maintain the site and provide you with the quality content that you deserve, I will never “force” you to pay for our website or add a paywall. I believe in the democracy of the internet and want to keep this site and its enriching content free for everyone. But at the same time I’m asking those who frequent the site to chip in and help keep it both high quality— and free. We’ve implemented a “free-will” annual subscription for those who want to support our efforts. I guess it’s fair to call it a philotimo subscription… because you don’t have to do it but it’s really the right thing to do if you love the site and the content we publish. So if you like The Pappas Post and want to help, please consider becoming a “philotimo subscriber”. Click here to subscribe. If you’d rather make a one time donation, we will gladly accept any amount, with appreciation. Click here to donate any amount.