Gov't agrees to raise survivors' budget

Initial increase of NIS 83 a month discarded; negotiations set for next week.

August 3, 2007 10:07
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A government proposal to provide a mere additional NIS 83 a month to needy Holocaust survivors was discarded Thursday night during a meeting between heads of Holocaust survivors organizations and government representatives in Tel Aviv. The two sides agreed to hold expedited negotiations to find a solution to the survivors' predicament. Nevertheless, the'March of the Living' protest, scheduled for Sunday, is still expected to go ahead. Thursday night's two-hour meeting at the Prime Minister's Office was attended by GIL Chairman Rafi Eitan, the PMO's Director-General Ra'anan Dinur, Welfare and Social Services Ministry Director-General Nachum Itzkovitz and members of the Centre of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel (COHSI). After the talks, the two sides vowed to work together to resolve the issue of the survivors' budget. Both sides also agreed to formulate a timetable for the vital issues up for discussion. The timetable will be given to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert next week. The talks followed the survivors' rejection of the initial proposal and subsequent harsh criticism leveled at the government State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss is expected to release a very critical report within the next few days calling on the government to improve the way it treats Holocaust survivors.

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