05 May 2011
The Foreign Affairs Committee of Lithuania’s parliament, the Seimas, has approved a bill allowing for financial compensation to Jewish communities for properties that were taken from them during and after World War II. The bill is now going to the full house for two final readings. "The committee gave its approval to the draft law by general consensus. During discussions, members of the committee emphasized the need to do everything to ensure that the law is adopted at the parliament as soon as possible," a press release circulated by the Seimas on Thursday stated.
Without the committee's approval, the bill could not be included in the agenda of plenary meetings. Other relevant parliamentary committees have discussed the bill earlier.
Under the government's proposal, LIT 128 million (US$ 55 million) in compensation for lost Jewish property during the Nazi and Soviet regimes will be paid from 2012 to 2023. About 95 percent of Lithuania's pre-war Jewish community of 220,000 was annihilated by the Nazis and their local collaborators between 1941 and 1944. The Jewish community in the Baltic country currently only numbers around 5,000 Jews.
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