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Long-term debt

December 3, 2009

Germany is still paying reparations for the First World War. More than 90 years after the signing of the peace treaty of Versailles, Germany still has some 56 million euros ($84 million) outstanding.

Treaty of Versailles historical painting
The Treaty of Versailles committed Germany to huge war reparationsImage: ullstein bild - histopics

Germany is still paying off war reparations agreed at the Treaty of Versailles, it was reported Wednesday in the national mass circulation daily Bild.

"The amount still owed for interest and clearance payments is around 56 million euros," Boris Knapp of the German Finance Agency, the state body that manages the government's debts and borrowing, told the newspaper.

The money is being paid out to creditors holding bonds, and is expected to be paid off by October 3, 2010.

Under the Treaty of Versailles, signed on June 28, 1919, Germany accepted responsibility for the First World War and agreed to pay the Allied victors 226 billion Reichsmarks, a sum reduced in 1921 to 132 billion Reichsmarks.

By 1952 Germany had paid some 1.5 billion Reichsmarks ($357 million by 1952 exchange rates) in war reparations to Allied countries, but the balance was suspended in 1953 when Germany was divided into East and West.

Those demands came back into force at the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990, with repayments to be concluded within 20 years.

Editor: Michael Lawton