Greece asks Germany for 279bn euros in war reparations

<p>The move comes ahead of a loan repayment due to the International Monetary Fund.</p>

The Greek government has asked Germany for €278.7 billion (£204 billion) in war reparations for the Nazi occupation during World War II. Greek deputy finance minister Dimitris Mardas said the figure includes €10.3 billion for an occupation loan that the Nazis forced the Bank of Greece to pay. Germany says it has already made compensation payments and owes nothing.

The announcement comes after a weekend of trying to find an agreement with its international creditors ahead of a €450 million loan repayment due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on April 9th.

Greece has received two international bailouts worth a total of €240 billion. Its second bailout program was extended for four months by the troika (IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank) in February.

Greece could be forced to exit the eurozone

"It’s not about new billions for Greece, it’s not about any change in the program," said finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble at the Bundestag, in Berlin. "It’s about offering more time to allow this program to be completed successfully."

However, Greece and its creditors have not yet reach an agreement on the reforms and Athens risks running out of cash and having no other option but to exit from the single currency bloc.

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has reiterated his country's commitment to its creditors, saying on Sunday (April 5th) that Greece "intends to meet all obligations to all its creditors, ad infinitum," Reuters reports.

The leftist party Syriza was elected on January 25th on a promise to write off part of the country's debt and end tough austerity measures. Greece originally asked for a six-month assistance package, rather than a renewal of the existing deal. But Germany took a tough stance and rejected the request. 

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