Greek president: Reparation demand from Germany 'legal'

Greek president: Reparation demand from Germany 'legal'

Greek president: Reparation demand from Germany 'legal'

Merkel has been in Greece since 10 January 2019, with the issue of war reparations being in the media spotlight. "And of course we are glad that Greece was able to leave the programs behind", the German leader said on her part.

The issue of past injustices resurfaced during Greece's 2010-2018 economic bailout phase, with Germany targeted for painful cuts imposed by worldwide creditors.

The German chancellor's visit marks the end of a hard period in bilateral relations, opening new prospects, Tsipras noted, referring to past differences regarding the way to address the Greek debt crisis, which was overcome through compromises.He also stressed the need for closer cooperation in finding solutions to more problems as Europe faces more challenges, like the rise of the populist far-right.The leaders also highlighted the need to establish a comprehensive European migration and asylum policy to deal with the refugee-migrant crisis, which has also tested the EU in recent years.During the meeting at the prime minister's office, police used tear gas to disperse leftist and far-right protesters who held two different demonstrations against the chancellor's visit."We are here to protest against Merkel's visit".

Chancellor Angela Merkel, while visiting Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Friday (above), said it was unacceptable long-term that "some European nations say this [migration] problem doesn't interest us at all".

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"The difficulties now lie behind us, and Greece is a different country that can regard the future with greater optimism", he said. It has denied owing anything to Greece for World War Two since it paid Athens 115 million Deutschmarks in 1960.

The remarks of Prokopis Pavlopoulos came after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is in the capital Athens on an official visit.

During her first visit to Greece in 2014, Merkel faced major protests and sought to ease tensions with Athens where Berlin was often blamed for biting austerity and bailouts.

In 2014, former German President Joachim Gauck sought forgiveness from relatives of Greeks murdered by the Nazis in northern Greece.

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The leaders are likely to discuss the still thorny issue of an impending name change for Greece's neighbour Macedonia.

Merkel was to hold talks with conservative opposition New Democracy party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, an European Union parliament ally of her Christian Democrats, and meet President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

Hitler's forces occupied Greece in 1941-1944 and extracted a so-called "occupation loan" used to help finance its campaign in North Africa.

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