Greece's president has called for talks as soon as possible with Berlin on long-rejected Greek claims for wartime reparations, during a meeting with his German counterpart.

Karolos Papoulias insisted at a joint news conference Thursday that Greece has never dropped its claims to reparations for the brutal 1941-44 German occupation during World War II.

But German President Joachim Gauck stuck to Berlin's longstanding argument that the issue has been settled.

Gauck arrived in Athens on Wednesday for a three-day visit that combines talking to Greek politicians with efforts to bring closure to WWII wounds as anti-German sentiment runs high in austerity-weary Greece.

On Friday, Gauck will visit the northwestern village of Ligiades, where German troops massacred dozens of villagers in 1943, in reprisal for a partisan attack.