The Greek government confirmed late Monday how much money it believes the country is owed by Germany in reparations for Nazi era-crimes: €278.8 billion ($304.8 billion).
That’s bigger the size of Greece’s entire GDP (all the goods and services produced in the economy in a year) in 2008, before the country’s depression began.
According to German news magazine Der Spiegel, Greece’s deputy finance minister Dimitris Mardas announced the figure to a parliamentary committee.
Here’s Germany’s English language public broadcaster Deutsche Welle on the news:
This is the first time the Greek government quantified its claims, which included seeking war reparations and a so-called occupation loan that Nazi Germany forced the Bank of Greece to make. Athens also demanded that Berlin return its stolen archaeological treasures.
Germany has rejected Athens’ demands, saying it settled the matter with a general compensation payment of 115 million deutschmarks in 1960. However, the issue continues to mar Greek-German relations and has gained more momentum amid Greece’s economic crisis and its government’s refusal to implement austerity measures.
This move comes just weeks after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras joined with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a call to end ugly stereotypes about different European countries.
It’s not likely to make the tense negotiations between Greece and the rest of Europe much easier — Greece is currently teetering on the edge of bankruptcy again. Though its European creditors have agreed to extend its bailout, Athens still hasn’t provided enough detail of its intended economic reforms to access the latest €7.2 billion tranche of aid.
Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis insists the country will make a payment to the International Monetary Fund on Thursday, but many analysts think the government will find it extremely difficult to make it though April without assistance.