Merkel says Germany recognises responsibilty for Nazi crimes in Greece

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pays tribute at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pays tribute at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens

Speaking alongside Alexis Tsipras on her first trip to Athens in five years, Merkel waded into Balkan politics and embraced the Greek prime minister as an ally in a region where outside powers from Turkey and Russian Federation to China are vying for influence.

Before departing from Athens on Friday afternoon, Merkel also laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Uknown Soldier in front of the Greek parliament and held talks with main opposition New Democracy party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis. "On the issue of the refugee crisis, you showed very great courage".

"We know how much suffering Germany caused Greece during the era of National Socialism, so the lesson for us is to do everything we can to ensure good relations with Greece and to support each other for the benefit of both countries", Merkel added. While the two leaders are from different European political families, they have "a common foundation", she said.

Officials of German businesses are expected to accompany Merkel on her Japan visit, according to the sources.

To relieve chronic overcrowding on Greek Aegean island reception camps, Greece recently brought thousands of asylum-seekers to its mainland, but on Wednesday Oxfam say many others, including unaccompanied children, had been abandoned. After he took office at the beginning of 2015, he has, however, made a u-turn and implemented by Brussels and Berlin demanded reforms and austerity measures to a large extent.

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Tsipras also highlighted the rising danger of the far right in Europe and the role that the dominant economic dogma played, in his opinion, in feeding the growth of far-right and anti-European populism, highlighting the need to counter this by building a social Europe and a new architecture for the Eurozone.

But in Greece, the debate on the topic came up again following the debt crisis of recent years.

Greece crisis: Merkel stated after the Meeting with Tsipras, the reforms in Greece should be continued, the country was not yet at the end of the Reformwegs. "We are no longer part of the problem, but part of the".

Tsipras announced that he reached an agreement with Merkel that Germany will be the honoured country at the 2020 Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).

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