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Greeks May Seize German Property

July 3, 2000

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Property owned by the German government in Greece may be seized and auctioned because Germany has yet to organize reparations to the relatives of Greeks executed by Nazi troops, the daily newspaper Ethnos reported Monday.

Last April, Greece’s Supreme Court ruled that Germany should compensate relatives of 214 civilians executed in June 1944 in the village of Distomo, in central Greece. The decision upheld a 1997 ruling by a lower Greek court which awarded $30 million to nearly 300 relatives.

Germany expects to rule on the case in November, after it postponed making a decision in June. No reason was given for the delay.

Greek foreign ministry sources, quoted by the Ethnos, said the reparations issue will be discussed by a special panel later this week. They also said a decision on the seizures could not be made without the consent of Greece’s justice minister, who reportedly would not approve such an action.

According to Ethnos, court officials will begin proceedings this week to seize three German properties _ the Goethe Institute, the German Archaeological School and the German high school in Athens.

Even if the property is seized _ which is unlikely _ Ethnos reported the earliest it could be auctioned is September 20.

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