Greece Names Nazi Reparations Panel

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The Greek government has appointed a panel to determine whether Germany might still owe Greece money in reparations for Nazi war crimes, a move that indicates the extent to which the shaky coalition government in Athens is trying to appease lawmakers from the extreme right and left.

Christos Staikouras, a deputy finance minister, on Monday signed a decision appointing four members of the State Audit Council to scour historical archives “in relation to German reparations” and to issue a verdict by year-end.

The move comes as the so-called troika of Greece’s foreign creditors are scrutinizing the government’s books to determine whether the country will receive the next installment of rescue loans it needs to stay solvent.

Part of the challenge for the coalition government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is to get his two restive coalition partners to approve a package of austerity measures worth €11.5 billion, or about $15 billion, that the foreign creditors are demanding, and appease vehement opposition to the measures from the other parties in Parliament.

The issue of reparations is a longstanding one for Greece, where thousands died at the hands of Nazi troops. Recently, it has been broached by lawmakers from parties of the ascendant far right and extreme left, which made big gains in the June general elections after campaigning on anti-austerity platforms...

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