Government settles year-long dispute with Claims Conference, to pay €4.36 mln in reparations
The Hungarian government has settled a dispute with the Claims Conference, an international organization devoted to collecting and directing reparation funds to survivors of the Holocaust during and before World War II. Chief of Staff János Lázár told local media on Saturday that the nearly year-long standoff had ended and, as quoted in MTI, "The government has concluded an agreement with the Conference of Material Claims Against Germany."
Said agreement will result in the transfer of $5.6 million (€4.36 million / HUF 1.286 billion) by the end of the business day today. In 2007, the Hungarian government extended a longstanding agreement with the Claims Conference to provide $21 million (then approximately €16 million), but did not extend this contract when the latest five-year term expired in 2012.
At that time, the Orbán government levied charges of improper accounting procedures against the organization and withheld further payment. For this payment to be processed through the Jewish Heritage of Hungary Public Endowment (Magyarországi Zsidó Örökség Közalapítvány or MaZsÖK), an independent international auditing firm will monitor individual disbursements.
Beginning on January 1 of this year, Hungary’s Holocaust survivors received a 15% increase in monthly direct compensation payments from the Central and Eastern European Fund (CEEF) from €260 to €300, while state pensions were raised 50% for 2013 as well.
The Claims Conference currently assists some 5,300 Hungarian citizens with financial assistance, medical care and social events. Locally, the organization has also contributed funding for the renovation and improvement of the MaZsiHiSz Charity Hospital in Budapest as well as old-age homes in Újpest and Szeged.
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