Austria: €20 million for Jewish cemeteries

Austria €20 million f

Austria's government said Tuesday it would pay €20 million ($28.5 million) for the restoration of the country's Jewish cemeteries, many of them in a sad state more than six decades after the end of the brutal Nazi era. The announcement - following a high-level meeting in the chancellery - brings to a close years of acrimony over who should fund the much-needed endeavor. "It was a matter of Austrian responsibility, of respect for history, for fellow Jewish citizens and for the cultural heritage of this country," said Chancellor Werner Faymann. "Delaying the decision even further was unjustifiable." Under the deal, Austria's government will annually channel €1 million into a special fund over the next two decades. The Jewish community will supplement the government's pledge with an additional €20 million raised through donations and agreements with individual communities and districts.