Greek 'national hero' sticks to WWII claim from Germany

92 year-old European Parliament member Glezos is determined to champion Greece's compensation claim for the loss caused by Nazis.

Greek 'national hero' sticks to WWII claim from Germany

World Bulletin / News Desk

Manolis Glezos, the oldest member of the European Parliament, is resolute to voice his country's compensation claim for the loss that Nazi Germany allegedly caused to Greece during the Second World War.

The 92-year-old European Parliament member from Greece's radical-left Syriza party is leading an unofficial investigation committee into the claim.

The oldest member of the parliament, he said he would bring the issue to the parliament's agenda as it was a "legal right."

"I will bring the claim to the parliament's agenda for compensation for the damage that Nazi Germany inflicted during its World War II occupation," he told the Anadolu Agency in an exclusive.

In an economic bottleneck, Greece claims 162 billion euros for damages from Germany citing its loss during the WWII occupation by Nazis.

The issue has long been a nuisance between the two countries as Germany claims it already settled with all countries it had to compensate for the "war damage," citing a 1960-dated agreement that finalized the matter with still-reclaimant Greece.

During his early March visit to Greece, German President Joachim Gauck made an apology for the murders committed by the Nazis in Greece, however he left the compensation issue unanswered saying he was not authorized to speak on it.

Oldest member of the EP

Glezos claimed a historic victory at last month's EP elections, is regarded as a "national hero" in his country.

At the European polls coinciding with the local elections in Greece, he actually broke a record by receiving 430 thousand of the votes across the country, a figure far ahead of all other candidates.

The ruling center-right New Democracy suffered a vote loss at the elections and the Democratic Left -- the smallest partner of the former coalition government -- claimed only 1.2 percent of the vote across Greece.

Glezos reminded that Syriza urged Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to have early national elections as his party achieved a "phenomenal success" in the elections.

The far-left Syriza party capitalised on the country's dire economic circumstances and high unemployment to make the call for change. Party leader Alexis Tsipras said they have a "political agenda that cannot be ignored" in Brussels.

Glezos said he would resign for a younger MP after serving one year at the European bloc's decision-making body, adding that he may immediately return to the country in case of early elections.

A life dedicated to Greece

Manolis Glezos volunteered to enlist for the Second World War, but was turned down because he was under age that time. However, he managed to pull down the Nazi flag at Acropolis -- the Hellenistic symbol of Greek capital Athens -- during the country's resistance against Axis powers' occupation between 1941-1944.

He also fought during the 1967-1974 "Junta of Colonels" era in Greece and was sentenced to death multiple times by the Nazis during the occupation and by the Greek authorities during the civil war. He spent almost 12 years of his life in jail along with a four year in exile.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Haziran 2014, 10:58