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AHI Forum Examines Greek Economy Under Axis Occupation
November 17, 2011—No. 78 (202) 785-8430

AHI Forum Examines Greek Economy Under Axis Occupation

Commemorates 71st Anniversary of Oxi Day

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) hosted a forum titled “The Greek Economy under Axis Occupation, 1941-1944” featuring Professor Michalis Psalidopoulos, holder, Constantine G. Karamanlis Chair in Hellenic and Southeastern European Studies, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; and professor, Department of Economics, University of Athens. The forum was held November 4, 2011 to commemorate the 71st anniversary of Oxi Day.

According to Professor Psalidopoulos, prior to the Axis occupation of Greece, the Greek economy was going through difficult times and the country even declared bankruptcy and revalued its currency. During the occupation, Professor Psalidopoulos explained Greece’s economy was completely devastated and its devastation was linked to the level of resistance the Germans faced to take control of Greece. In fact, Greece’s level of economic destruction due to Axis occupation was second only to the Soviet Union. Under occupation, Greece has to export forcefully without importing and monetary circulation from 1939 to 1944 suffered from hyperinflation.

In discussion post-war Greece, Professor Psalidopoulos indicated that $8.5 billion in war reparations were due to Greece. He also highlighted that during Axis occupation, Germany issued a loan to itself from the Greek government called an “occupation loan.” In his opinion, the question of war reparations is a lost case; however, the “occupation loan” is a valid one that should be pursued legally. Professor Psalidopoulos added that a lack of follow-up on the “occupation loan” was probably due to Germany’s division following the war and lost recordkeeping.

“We were pleased to host such an important forum that shed insight about a topic not often examined which is the Greek economy under Axis occupation,” said AHI President Nick Larigakis. “Professor Psalidopoulos presented historical background and facts that described the degree to which the Greek economy was devastated by the war. His perspective on the Germans’ ‘occupation loan’ was also intriguing.”

To view a video of Professor Psalidopoulos’ presentation, please click here.

The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit Greek American public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.


For additional information, please contact Demetra Atsaloglou at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at