Germany reacts in solidarity to Poland’s demands for reparations

Germany reacts in solidarity to Poland’s demands for reparations

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stressed unity during a visit to Warsaw, hours after Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau signed a diplomatic note officially asking the country to make reparations for the damage caused by World War II.

The Environment Minister traveled to Warsaw on Monday (3 October), the anniversary of German unity, torecognize the contribution of courageous Poles to reunification“, according to the ministry.

«We know: Europe is stronger today when it is unitedMs. Baerbock said in a statement about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. She added that she will hold talks with her Polish counterpart on how the two countries can jointly step up their support for Ukraine.

Hours earlier, however, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau sent a diplomatic note to Berlin formalizing a demand for €1.3 trillion in war reparations from Germany – a sum first announced by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) in mid-July put on the table. September.

Since seizing power in 2015, the PiS party has long insisted that Poland never received any compensation for its occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II.

note”expresses the position of the Polish Foreign Minister that the parties should take immediate steps to reach a lasting and effective settlement […] the question of the consequences of German aggression and occupationMr Rau said at a press conference, as reported by EURACTIV Poland.

He said Germany should make efforts to inform its society about the disastrous consequences of the war against Poland, adding that the note would also raise the issue of looted artworks, archives and bank balances.

Polls show that Poland supports the government’s demand for reparations. In fact, 52.1% of them consider Warsaw’s demands to be justified.

Polling data also seems to indicate that the pressure exerted by the ruling PiS party is aimed at mobilizing its electoral base ahead of the 2023 general and local elections. As many as 97% of PiS voters believe Poland has reason to demand reparations, compared to 48% of opposition supporters.

In 1953, Poland’s then-communist government had abandoned any demands for war reparations, but the agreement is invalid, PiS says, because it was signed under pressure from the Soviet Union, which controlled Poland at the time.

While Ms Baerbock only attended celebrations marking the anniversary of German reunification on Monday, she was scheduled to speak to Mr Rau on Tuesday morning. These interviews focus onall relevant questions about German-Polish relationsa spokesman for the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs told German public television.

«And the diplomatic note is probably one of the most important“, he added.

Reference: www.euractiv.fr

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