Austria okays compensation for Holocaust survivors

Parliament agreed Wednesday to start paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to Holocaust survivors once the last related case against Austria in a US court is settled or dropped. Parliament created the General Settlement Fund in 2001 to compensate Holocaust victims who were robbed of businesses, property, bank accounts and insurance policies during the Nazi era. The government and Austrian companies earlier this year pledged to pay US$210 million (nearly €167 million) to endow the fund once all court cases against Austria relating to the Holocaust were resolved. But on Wednesday, parliament agreed to speed up the procedure and start payments even before all applications were fully processed, once the last US court case was resolved.