Even before the meeting with Mitsotakis, Scholz defended Greece against such threats in an interview with the Greek newspaper “Tania”. “It is unacceptable for one NATO partner to question the sovereignty of another,” he said. “This also applies to more or less encrypted military threats.”
Less obvious in front of a moving camera
In the press conference with Mitsotakis, Scholz did not position himself clearly again. But he mentioned his interview statement. The Chancellor stressed that good neighborly relations between Greece and Turkey are also important for Europe and transatlantic relations. That is why he is convinced that conflicts “are always resolved through negotiations on the basis of international law”.
Mitsotakis stressed that the issues could only be resolved on the basis of international law. At the same time, he criticized the President of Turkey. “It’s a real pity that Mr. Erdoğan is not going to see the end by poisoning his people with lies about Greece.” Both neighboring countries and all international partners know very well that the Greek islands are not a threat to anyone.
In the interview, Scholz also offered German mediation in the dispute. The common goal should be to exploit the economic potential of the Eastern Mediterranean region “for the benefit of all countries,” he said. “If it is deemed useful by those involved, Germany can get involved here.”
A few days ago, Germany delivered the first six tank tanks to Greece as part of a ring exchange to support Ukraine. The government of Athens undertook to send a total of 40 Soviet-designed BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles, once obtained from East German stocks, to the war zone. Greek Armed Forces receive 40 German Martens. The first six will be presented in a parade in Thessaloniki on Friday – one of two Greek national holidays. Later they are expected to be taken to the border area. Athens has greatly strengthened border security in recent years. It also aims to prevent migrants from entering the European Union.
The issue of reparations for Athens remains unresolved
The difference between the heads of government was over compensation. The Greek government continues to demand reparations for war crimes and damages caused by German occupation forces in World War II. Mitsotakis said the matter was not yet settled. This applies above all to a compulsory loan that the Greek Central Bank had to grant the occupiers in 1942. At the same time, Mitsotakis stressed: “However, this does not cloud our bilateral relations.”
Berlin has rejected Athens’ demands for years. Scholz already said in the “Ta Nea” interview: “Legally and politically, the question of compensation is closed.” However, he insisted that it was important for him to come to terms with and remember the horrific crime. “I am very grateful that Greeks and Germans are united in friendship and partnership in Europe today.”