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Holocaust fund under fire from Roma community

A Roma association in the United States has criticised a settlement between Swiss banks and Holocaust victims

(Keystone Archive)

A settlement reached between Jewish groups and Switzerland's biggest banks has been criticised by a Roma group in the United States, which says the deal is unjust and arbitrary.

Under the agreement, Switzerland's two biggest banks - UBS and Credit Suisse - are to pay $1.25 billion (SFr2.14 billion) to settle claims of Holocaust survivors who held assets in Switzerland during the Second World War.

Almost 65 per cent of the money - some $800 million - has been earmarked for owners of dormant accounts or their heirs.

However, the "Romani Holocaust Survivors" group launched an appeal against the decision at a court in New York. The group said it was unjust that the money was solely reserved for this category of people.

The court said no money would be distributed before it delivers a verdict on July 19.

Besides the Roma community, some Jewish individuals and an organisation of Holocaust survivors have raised objections against the agreement at the court in New York. In total, half a dozen appeals against the settlement have been filed in the US.

swissinfo with agencies

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