Greece is threatening to seize property, land and businesses belonging to Germany if Berlin does not agree to compensate it for the Nazi occupation of the Second World War.

Prime minister Alexis Tsipras has demanded Germany pay more than £112billion in reparations.

He said previous payments did not cover demands for destroyed infrastructure, compensation for war crimes and the return of a forced loan to the Nazis.

In an emotive address to his parliament he spoke of his government pursuing its ‘duty to history’ and the people who ‘fought and gave their lives to defeat Nazism’. Germany angrily dismissed the demands yesterday, saying it had paid reparations to Greece.

A spokesman for German chancellor Angela Merkel said the issue had been ‘legally and politically resolved’ at that time and during the talks which led to German reunification in 1990.

But Greek politicians upped the ante with justice minister Nikos Paraskevoloulos saying he was ready to back a High Court ruling from 2000 allowing Athens to seize German-owned property to compensate the victims of a Nazi massacre of 218 Greek civilians in the village of Distomo.

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