Germany open to new reparations talks

German spokesperson: If Israel requests negotiations on the matter, Germany wouldn't refuse.

holocaust survivors 248 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
holocaust survivors 248 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Germany expressed its willingness on Wednesday to consider making extra pension payments to Holocaust survivors, should the Israeli government request it to do so, Reuters reported. The report quoted the spokesperson for the German government, Thomas Steg as saying that if further negotiations of the matter are needed, then Germany "would not refuse talks." According to German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger, Israel had yet to formally request that the issue be reopened since it was signed in 1952, Reuters reported The statement came in response to an article which appeared in Ha'aretz last weekend, in which Pensioners Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan, the minister in charge of the talks with Germany on reparations for Holocaust survivors and retrieving Jewish property, was reported as seeking to renegotiate the agreement with Germany. A spokeswoman for Eitan later clarified the minister's remarks to the German news agency DPA. She was quoted as saying Eitan did not wish to renegotiate the agreement, but instead wanted Israeli and German officials to discuss ways of finding funds to cover costs not taken into account when the original agreement was signed.