Greece has announced that Germany must pay reparations for damages inflicted on the Greeks during World War II, a report says.
According to a report published by the New York Times on October 5, a group of Greek lawmakers stated in an 80-page report that Berlin owed reparations for those Greeks who died during the world war.
In the report it was mentioned that Germany also owes a large unpaid loan Athens was forced to give the Nazi state.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras says he has handed the report over to Greece’s Legal Council of State, which is to decide on the future of the case.
Athens has not yet released the total amount it believes Berlin owes. However, the figure discussed most often as the amount Germany must pay is USD 220 billion, half of the total debt Greece has.
In April, a panel set up by the Greek Finance Ministry said that Germany had to pay more than 160 billion euros in reparations to Greece.
Following the announcement, the German daily Der Spiegel said that Berlin should pay 108 billion euros for the reconstruction of its damaged infrastructure following the war.
Reports also said that Germany owed Greece 54 billion euros in loans it received during 1942 and 1944.
In July, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaubl said his country had to “examine exactly what happened in Greece.”
Experts believe that if Germany pays Greece what it allegedly owes, it would significantly improve the country’s likelihood of surviving the spiraling crisis and its crippling debt.
Greece has been dependent on bailout funds from international rescue loans approved by the troika of international creditors – the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank – since May 2010.
Greek Finance Ministry unveiled the draft Budget 2014 on Monday. In the ambitious draft, Athens predicts recession at 4% from 4.6% originally foreseen. A much better figure when compared to 6.5% of 2012. Deputy finance Minister, Christos Staikouras who presented the draft budget, said that the primary surplus will be at 380 million euro in 2013 and 2.8 billion euro in 2014.
Staikouras gave also the official rate of unemployment at 27% and said that it will drop to 26% in 2014.
“The 2014 budget will also foresee a primary surplus of 2.8 billion euros (1.5 percent of GDP), compared to about 300 million euros this year.
The draft budget might also give a better idea of the fiscal gap that Greece faces next year. The Finance Ministry believes it will be about 600 million euros, whereas the troika expects it to be as much as 3 billion euros.
The final version of the budget is due to be submitted to Parliament at the end of November and could contain a number of changes compared to the draft due to be issued on Monday.” (ekathimerini)
While the government claims that there would be no additional austerity measures, the big question is where the 2.8 billion euro surplus will come from – especially the moment that the government hardly proceeds to expenditure cuts.
A not-so-secret present is being currently wrapped by the technocrats of the Greek finance ministry. With love to the Greek taxpayer: tax hikes to income from rent, tax hikes for free lancers and small enterprises, abolishing tax breaks and stricter taxes for farmers.
As of 1.1.2014 the new taxation system that will go into effect will abolish also the tax free amount of 5,000 euro for annual income.
Nevertheless the budget 2014 has to be approved by the Troika – business as usual….
PS What? the European Union claims as “poor” those with annual income of 7.500 euro? In Greece, they tax also the very poor… Of course. If they don’t cut expenditure, there is no other way than “Taxes and more Taxes”.