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13 July, 2000
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas confirmed on Wednesday that Germany has lodged two protest demarches with the Greek government regarding the confiscations process carried out by people entitled to German war reparations against German foundations operating in Greece.
One demarche was made in Berlin to the Greek ambassador by the German foreign ministry and the second was delivered to the foreign ministry in Athens by the German ambassador.
Reppas said the demarches would not upset excellent relations existing between the two countries, adding that consultations are underway between Greece and Germany.
He said the issue of German war reparations is serious and requires delicate handling and the government will do everything possible to protect the national interest and for claims not to be written off. He further clarified that the auctioning process requires permission by the justice minister.
A Supreme Court ruling in April said that Germany owes 9.4 billion drachmas ($ 30 million) in compensation to relatives of 214 civilians executed by the Nazis in the village of Distomo.
The Greek Supreme Court allowed relatives to seize and auction German government assets up to the sum upheld in its ruling.
German Ambassador Karl-Heinz Kuna conveyed the German government's displeasure over the confiscation process started at the Goethe Institute to the Greek foreign ministry. He protested over this action against the German cultural institute in Athens and, according to reports, he personally accused the lawyer of the victims' relatives Stamoulis who had started the process for the victims of the Nazis to be compensated
Source: Athens News Agency