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Thursday, 18 January, 2001, 09:31 GMT
Nazi survivors strike Austria deal
A holocaust monument in Vienna
Holocaust monument in Vienna: Victims will receive about $7,000 each
By Philippa Tarrent in Washington

Austrian officials have signed a deal to compensate Jews who had their property and assets seized by the Nazis.

The Austrian government and several Austrian companies agreed to give a total of $360m to a general settlement fund, providing around $7,000 dollars to each survivor.


Like all nations, we have to live up to our past, the deeds of all Austrians bad or good, the fact that Austrians were perpetrators, onlookers and victims

Claims envoy Stuart Eizenstat
Austria will also create a social fund of more than $100m to pay pensions to survivors no longer living in the country.

The chief Austrian negotiator, Ernst Sucharipa, said the deal was a comprehensive resolution of the issue of restoring assets to victims of the holocaust.

Flexibility

The deal was signed on Wednesday in the United States.

It came after two days of talks at the State Department between US and Austrian officials and lawyers representing the families of survivors.

A State Department official said they had been rushing to try to get this deal finalised before the end of the Clinton administration on 20 January.

It was described it as an historic occasion. Mr Eizenstat said he felt very satisfied with the achievement, citing that it showed flexibility from all the parties involved.

The settlement is an increase on the previous offer of $360m, which was rejected by the Austrian Jewish community.

One of the lawyers involved said the accord was a surprise because he thought a deal was unlikely.

It was described it as an historic occasion.

US Holocaust claims envoy Stuart Eizenstat said as the US was concerned, legal closure had been reached on these claims.

He said he felt very satisfied with the achievement, citing that it showed flexibility from all the parties involved.

The settlement is an increase on the previous offer of $360m, which was rejected by the Austrian Jewish community.

One of the lawyers involved said the accord was a surprise because he thought a deal was unlikely.

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