Panel Discussion: So close and yet so far. Greek-German relations through the ages

Thursday, 18 May 2023, 7.00 – 8.30 p.m. | Venue: The Danish Institute at Athens | Herefondos 14 - Platia Agias Aikaterinis - Plaka - Athens



  • Vangelis Karamanolakis, ASKI, Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • Arne Schildberg, FES Athens, Director


  • Christos Tsakas, Historian, Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence
  • Christina Koulouri, Professor in Modern and Contemporary History, Rector of Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens
  • Alexander Nützenadel, Professor of Social and Economic History at Humboldt University Berlin

Moderation: Mogens Pelt, Danish Institute at Athens, Director

RSVP to LaurentCarl.Weissenberger(at)fes.deby 16 May 2023

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For years, Greece was considered a model child of the European project: it was the first state to become an associate member of the European Economic Community (1961) and - despite the dictatorship (1967-74) - a pioneer of Mediterranean enlargement. Post-war German-Greek relations were forged with the European perspective in mind, and although the brutal German occupation of the country in World War II only ended a few years prior, it was possible to re-establish normal relations with each other quite quickly from the 1950s onwards. Greece made early attempts at rapprochement with West Germany, which in turn advocated Greek participation in the European project. But this laid the foundation for an asymmetrical interdependence: A persistent trade deficit with Germany, Greece's most important trading partner, proved to be the price of growth and modernization.  

The recent euro crisis has seriously strained German-Greek relations for the first time in decades: The former goody-goody "Greece" became the black sheep of the EU, and stereotypes that were thought to have been overcome were instrumentalized in a heated debate in both countries.

  • Which characteristics shaped bilateral relations from 1950 to 1980?
  • What role did the economy play in the normalization of relations?
  • What role did the Greece’s pro-European course play in the transition to normality after a cruel period of occupation?
  • How did relations change during the military dictatorship?
  • What impact did and still does culture and tourism have on these relations?
  • And finally - how “normal” was the relationship between the two countries in the past decades?


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