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Holocaust asset claimants a step closer to restitution

One of the last remaining obstacles in the campaign by Holocaust survivors and their relatives to recover bank assets may soon be overcome.

Switzerland's two biggest banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, are hoping to get final approval this month on a compromise deal reached with a United States judge. They are proposing to provide access to at least two million Nazi-era accounts, half the number requested by an independent commission.

Once this issue is resolved, agreement on the actual payments and distribution can be finalised. Edward Korman, the US judge responsible for implementing the deal, is expected to give the compromise plan his seal of approval.

Jewish organisations have already expressed their satisfaction with the compromise, and are hoping Holocaust era claimants could start receiving payments this autumn.

The original global accord worth 1.25 billion dollars was concluded between the Swiss banks and lawyers for claimants in August 1998.

swissinfo with agencies

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