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29 August, 1998
Viotia Prefect Yiannis Stamoulis yesterday concluded a two-day series of meetings with deputies from practically all German political parties over the issue of war reparations for Nazi atrocities during the World War II occupatio n of Greece.
Mr. Stamoulis referred to a Leivadia lower court decision awarding 58 million German marks to survivors of the executions in the Viotia village of Distomo.
He added that the court decision could be executed, despite claims by Bonn that the issue was permanently settled by a March 18, 1960 German-Greek agreement, which awarded wartime victims in Greece 115 million marks.
However, Mr. Stamoulis said that a political settlement was preferable, in light of recent German approval for the creation of a fund to compensate Jewish victims of the Nazi era.
The prefect noted that in view of German national elections next month, opposition parties have shown increasing sensitivity over the issue. However, he said this does not signal support for Greek reparation claims or return of a forced loan by occupied Greece to Nazi Germany during the 1941-44 occupation.
In November 1995 the Greek government, through its ambassador to Bonn, had raised the issue with the German government. Bonn rejected the claim as "without substance50 years after the end of the war."
Source: Athens News Agency