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Olmert in the meeting
Photo: Itzik Harari
Holocaust survivors to get NIS 1,200 a month
Meeting between Shoah survivors' representatives, prime minister ends with promise of solution by High Holydays for survivors coming from former Soviet Union, increase in monthly allowance for survivors of death camps
Some 100,000 survivors of Nazi death camps will receive an increased monthly allowance of NIS 1,200 ($285), it was decided in Sunday's meeting between representatives of Holocaust survivor organizations and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

 

Nonetheless, a solution for the 150,000 survivors who fled to the former Soviet Union during World War II was not found, and the representatives were promised a solution to the problem by the start of the High Holydays.

 

A member of the survivors' negotiation team Uri Hanoch, told Ynet he had hoped that both sides would sign an agreement immediately. "I am very sad. We seniors are working for our brother who have nothing, it's like not reaching out to someone dying of hunger."

 

A meeting Thursday evening between representatives of Holocaust survivors and government officials also ended without significant results. The teams did manage to reach a compromise on a few issues, but most of the main controversial matters remained unsolved.

 

The problem of refugees who fled to the Soviet Union during World War II was at the center of Thursday's debate. This group includes immigrants who mostly live in poverty and survive on National Insurance allowances.  


Sunday's meeting with Shoah survivor representatives and Olmert (Photo: Itzik Harari)

  

The matter of these refugees has stirred controversy during meetings between representatives of the Social Affairs Ministry and the Finance Ministry, since aiding these survivors would call for a large addition to the budget.

 

Sources close to the negotiations said that talks on the refugee problem were held around the recommendations of the Itzkovich report, which dealt with the matter.

 

The sources claimed that the Holocaust survivors' fund would probably receive hundreds of millions of shekels, some of which would be transferred to the survivors via the Social Affairs Ministry.

 

Government officials are not willing to accept the report's recommendations and implement them in full.

 

Nahum Itzkovich, director-general of the Welfare Ministry and author of the report, told Ynet, "Even though there seems to be no answer for this group, I hope that the prime minister finds a solution to the problem." He added that he felt the conclusions of his report will eventually be implemented.

 


פרסום ראשון: 08.19.07, 17:17
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