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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05VIENNA3026
2005-09-12 11:12:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Vienna
Cable title:  

Austria Plans to Amend General Settlement Fund

Tags:   KNAR  PHUM  PGOV  AU 
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						UNCLAS VIENNA 003026 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/OHI AND EUR/AGS

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KNAR PHUM PGOV AU
SUBJECT: Austria Plans to Amend General Settlement Fund


Law

UNCLAS VIENNA 003026

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/OHI AND EUR/AGS

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KNAR PHUM PGOV AU
SUBJECT: Austria Plans to Amend General Settlement Fund


Law


1. MFA's International Law Division shared with us a

draft amendment to the General Settlement Fund (GSF) Law.

The purpose is to facilitate early payments by the GSF to

Holocaust victims as soon as legal peace exists. It also

would extend the filing period for the Arbitration Panel

on in-rem restitution from end of 2004 to end of 2006.

All five parties represented in parliament unanimously

submitted the bill to the plenary on July 7. The

constitutional committee will take up action next, with

final passage expected in September or October. The GSF

amendment is part of a legislative package; two other

bills concern the establishment of a Scholarship Fund and

a Future Fund to distribute leftover money from the

Reconciliation Fund.


2. Parliamentary President (and ex-officio GSF Chairman)

Andreas Khol has stressed that he hopes to issue advance

payments to applicants whose claims have already been

processed by the GSF (roughly 8,000 out of nearly 20,000

total) by the end of 2005, assuming legal peace exists.

An appendix stipulates a minimum of USD 500 for these

advance payments. Further, the bill eliminates the

stipulation that, in the equity-based process, payments

would go to households, and instead provides for payments

to individuals. The GoA argues that payments to

households have proven impractical, leading to

complications in the equity-based process. In many

cases, a "household" is composed of people living in

different parts of the world who filed applications

independently. BROWN