Plassnik: "Victims of National Socialism to Receive Payments from General Settlement Fund as Quickly as Possible"

Austrian Foreign Ministry (05/25/05)

Foreign Minister welcomes agreement between General Settlement Fund for victims of National Socialism and Jewish Community of Vienna

Vienna - "I welcome the resolution to make 18.2 million Euros available to the Israelite Religious Community of Vienna (IKG)," said Foreign Minister Plassnik in response to the agreement reached between the Board of Trustees of the General Settlement Fund and the Victims of National Socialism and the Jewish Community of Vienna. This resolution had been passed with a particular view to the interests of the surviving victims of National Socialist injustice, said the Minister, adding that the Jewish community of Vienna will not withdraw the claims it submitted to the General Settlement Fund."It is my great concern that elderly victims receive payment before the end of their lifetime," said Plassnik. "Another significant aspect of this resolution is that the IKG and the Federal Government will jointly advocate a swift settlement of the claims."

"The resolution could make an essential contribution to ensuring that the legal closure required for payments from the General Settlement Fund is now quickly established," the Foreign Minister went on. The only thing now standing in the way of the establishment of legal closure, and thus payment, is the class action suit filed in the USA. Following the agreement now reached, the IKG will discontinue its support of this suit and withdraw from the legal proceedings related to the issue.

"Already at this juncture, further consideration should be given to how payments to the claimants can be made as quickly as possible," added Plassnik. "Even though all claims have not yet been assessed, I am in favour of giving immediate consideration to possible ways and means of realizing advance payments to entitled persons."