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Politics: Greek government to back war reparations claims in ICJ

Δημοσίευση 13 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 12:06 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Politics: Greek government to back  war reparations claims in ICJ
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The Greek government will exercise its right to participate in proceedings being held before the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) in the pending dispute between Germany and Italy as regards WWII reparations for the massacres and destructions committed during the Nazi occupation. The decision was announced by Prime Minister George Papandreou during the cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The Greek government will exercise its right to participate in proceedings being held before the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) in the pending dispute between Germany and Italy as regards WWII reparations for the massacres and destructions committed during the Nazi occupation. The decision was announced by Prime Minister George Papandreou during the cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

"We are all aware of the gravity and significance of this issue and of its special symbolism," Papandreou told his cabinet.

In taking the decision to participate and be represented at the court, the government had to examine "obvious moral, legal and political reasons but also important issues of the highest national importance and the overall interests of the country at a specially crucial period for our homeland," he underlined.

"..our actions serve a self-evident debt to actively honour the memory of those that sacrificed themselves for this homeland," Papandreou added, thanking all the members of his governments and the experts that had prepared Greece's participation in the proceedings.

The Greek government’s move is made in support of the people of Distomo in south-central Greece, who, despite the fact that both Greek and European courts had ruled in favour of their claims for war reparations have been prevented from confiscating German state property in Greece.

As a result, the people of Distomo were forced to recourse to the ICJ with Italy which has instituted proceedings against Germany for damages it had suffered by the Nazis considering that the ICJ only tries disputes between countries.

Distomo was the scene of a massacre during WWII when 218 locals were executed as part of Nazi reprisals for the activity of partisans in the area.

The Distomo massacre case deadline at the International Court of Justice in The Hague expires on Jan. 14, 2011.