Greece protests to Germany over comments by minister deemed 'condescending': Official

ATHENS (AFP) - Greece protested on Thursday to Germany over comments by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble deemed "condescending" towards his Greek counterpart Yanis Varoufakis, an official said.

"There has been a demarche to Berlin over Mr Schaeuble's statements," Foreign Ministry spokesman Constantinos Koutras told AFP. "He made condescending statements towards the Greek finance minister, and cast doubt on the Greek government's ability to carry out its obligations."

Speaking to reporters after a euro zone ministers' meeting on Monday, Mr Schaeuble disclosed a discussion in which Mr Varoufakis apparently complained about his treatment by the media. "He told me that he is always misunderstood, that the media are awful," the German minister said.

Schaeuble went on to say: "That now he is suddenly naive in terms of communication, that was new to me. But you never stop learning."

Athens and Berlin have repeatedly sparred since the radical Syriza government came to power in January, pledging to end austerity and erase most of the country's huge debt.

Germany has publicly opposed any attempt by Greece to renegotiate its bailout obligations.

In turn, Athens has promised to hound Berlin over atrocities committed by Nazi occupation forces during World War II.

The Greek Justice Minister this week said he would activate a 15-year-old Greek Supreme Court ruling allowing the seizure of German assets to pay for war damages.

And the Greek Parliament also approved a motion to reactivate a special committee to look into war reparations, reimbursement of a forced war loan and the return of archaeological relics seized by German occupation forces.

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