As Greece's financial situation continues to be a vexing problem, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reminded the world that Europe wrote off 50 percent of Germany's debt in 1953, following World War II. Tsipras said the assistance given to Germany was the “biggest extension of solidarity in modern European history.”

Tsipras found it difficult to defend his country’s claim for a fair debt deal before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. A number of chamber members criticized Greece for being unable to produce a “concrete” proposal to its creditors. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble agreed Thursday that Greece might need some of Europe’s loans written off to take its debt to a “manageable level.” However, at the same time, he ruled out taking such a step, Reuters reported.  

Tsipras stressed that his country wanted a “sustainable program.” “When we ask to reduce the debt, we ask for that because we want to repay this back,” Tsipras said, as Russia Today reported. “We don’t want to be forced again and again to accept new loans to pay back the old ones.”

Tsipras said that Greece had failed to find solidarity with its European partners. He added that lending money would surely be a method for Europe to express solidarity. Greece has asked the European Stability Mechanism for a three-year loan facility. It has also promised that it would present a new plan Thursday promising quick reforms.

Tsipras said that Germany in the post-World War II era faced similar economic restrictions. He reminded that Europe had shown “the greatest possible solidarity” at the London Conference in 1953 by writing off half of Germany’s debt. During those days, Germany was recovering from two world wars.

The Greek prime minister acknowledged that his country is on the brink of bankruptcy. He said the situation could be avoided only with debt relief.