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Poland and Greece could cooperate on war reparations from Germany: Polish envoy

The issue of reparations from Germany for World War II damages has never been resolved in Greece; it is an area for cooperation between Poland and Greece, according to Artur Lompart, the Polish Ambassador in Athens, in an interview with the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

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“The very positive meetings of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Arkadiusz Mularczyk in Greece showed that the Greek side is interested in cooperation in this field with Poland,” he added.

“Polish-Greek talks will certainly continue,” Lompart stated. In mid-June, the Polish Embassy in Athens, together with Greek partners and the European Organization for Public Law, will organize an international conference on reparations, mainly focusing on the legal aspects of seeking reparations from Germany.

The issue of reparations is between two countries, not two governments, emphasized Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Arkadiusz Mularczyk in an interview with the newspaper “Welt” on Monday. He emphasized the importance of being able to discuss difficult issues with representatives from all parliamentary groups in Berlin’s Bundestag.

“We pointed out to the German side that in addition to talks about reparations, it is important to commemorate the Polish victims,” Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk reported on Tuesday after his visit to Berlin, where he met with German politicians as part of his campaign to pursue reparations for the losses Poland suffered during WWII.

“I believe this signal has reached many parliamentarians, and I am confident that it will also reach Culture Minister Claudia Roth, and work will be accelerated,” he said.

“I hope that this diplomatic activity of ours and encouraging Germany to be more empathetic to the Polish side will cause Germany to proceed much more intensively with the design and construction of this monument,” Muarczyk pointed out.

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“5.4 million people died in Poland as a result of acts of aggression by the German Nazi occupying power, while 330,000 died in Greece.” This quantitative difference is visible in other areas too. Both Poland and Greece share a similar fate of so-called ‘small allies’. In terms of reparations, they have been marginalized. Right up to today.”

On October 3, 2022, the Polish government sent a note to the German government, officially raising demands for reparations amounting to approximately EUR 1.3 trillion for the first time.

A Greek parliamentary committee determined that Germany caused at least EUR 289 billion in war damages to Greece during World War II.

Regional cooperation

In the context of regional cooperation, Artur Lompart recalled that Greece was invited to join the Three Seas Initiative when it was being established, but the then-leftist Syriza government did not decide to join.

However, the government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis clearly stated that it is interested in joint projects in the areas of energy and infrastructure, primarily railway and road connections.

“Greek ports are closest to the Suez Canal, so Greece’s connections to Central Europe significantly shorten supply chains,” noted Lompart. “Greece is also becoming an energy hub in this part of Europe. New connections with Egypt and the Middle East will allow easy delivery of energy, including renewable energy, to Central Europe,” he added.

He also emphasized that the expansion of road and rail infrastructure will be beneficial for Polish transport companies, which are already visible in Greece but will also lead to an increase in the number of Polish tourists in Greece.

Help for Ukraine

“Greece has supported Ukraine from the beginning of the Russian invasion, partly because direct military actions affected the regions where the Greek diaspora in Ukraine, consisting of 150,000 people, lived,” observed the Polish Ambassador in Athens.

He emphasized that Greece, like Poland, has always believed that every state has the right to decide its own future and that the territorial integrity of states is inviolable.

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