Germany and Italy in dispute over Second World War slaves

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Former Second World War allies Germany and Italy are battling each other over compensation claims by former slave labourers.

The wrangling has been prompted by a ruling last week in Italy's top civilian court that Germany must pay compensation to Italian soldiers it forced into working for Hitler's regime.

In 1943, Italy declared a truce with the Allies and the Nazis seized an estimated 600,000 Italian soldiers.

But yesterday, Manfred Gentz, from the Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation, which was set up in 2000 with £4billion from the German state and business to compensate slave labourers, said there was no money for the Italian soldiers, whose claims could reach £48 million.

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