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Posted on 1st May 2022
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According to this report on the BBC, Germany is taking Italy to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to stop Italian courts hearing cases for compensation for Nazi war crimes during World War II, and to prevent those courts from seizing properties in Rome owned by the German government to finance any resulting compensation payments.
I can understand the German position: there was a huge war-crimes trial in Nuremberg to determine blame, and since then Germany has paid billions in compensation. Germans still feel huge guilt for WWII, but are done with paying compensation. There was an ICJ ruling in 2012 that that determined civil claims by Nazi victims could not be brought against Germany in non-German courts (a few more details about that ICJ ruling can be found here, on Euronews), but Italy is not abiding by that ruling.
Germany is the richest nation in Europe, contributing more to the EU budget than any other member, and bailing out various countries (Italy, Greece and several others) when they get into financial difficulties. I can see that flow of cash becoming much more restricted in future, if the claims for compensation don't stop. After all, even Germany is feeling the pinch due to the fallout from the Ukraine war (Germany doubled its military budget at a stroke because of the war) and the sanctions against Russia that followed.