German politicians and media outlets have expressed anger over Greece's demand for war reparations and threats to seize property in the country if Germans do not pay.
“If one takes Athens seriously, then Greece itself, which is so proud of Alexander the Great, would have to fear demands for historical injustice,” Reinhard Müller wrote in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Bela Anda, a spokesman for Gerhard Schröder during his tenure as German chancellor, now an editor at tabloid newspaper Bild, branded the threats “bizarre, presumptuous and impertinent,” further describing them as “moral blackmail,” the Guardian reported.
This week, Germany's International broadcaster Deutsche Welle described relations between Greece and Germany as having hit an “all-time low.”
“The issue [of reparation] has been closed legally and politically and there won’t be any negotiations about this. It has been settled in a comprehensive and conclusive way,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert. “We should focus on today’s issues” and future the cooperation of both countries, he said.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras renewed his call in a speech before the country's parliament Tuesday for Germany to pay reparations for atrocities committed during both World War I and World War II.
Ministers in his Syriza-led government had raised the idea during its early days in office, but had not pushed it for some weeks, apparently demonstrating that it is an issue that the Greek government intends to push.
Greece wants compensation for the murder of over 200 civilians by the SS in the town of Distomo in 1944. It also seeks compensation for an “occupation loan” that Greece was forced to give Germany while the latter was occupying it.
On Wednesday, Greek Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos said that he was ready to take action on the issue of seizing German property in Greece.
"I'm ready to sign [the decision]," Paraskevopoulos told Sky News. "The prime minister is aware of the views I have on the issue."
The Greek threats came as the country is attempting to renegotiate the terms of its multi-billion Euro bailout with the troika of international lenders.
Greece's creditors rejected a proposed set of reforms at a meeting this week, saying the country had fallen well short of promises it made two weeks ago, when it was voted a four-month extension of its bailout, in exchange for promising to undertake serious economic reforms.