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Restitution of Property Seized by Nazis Lagging in Austria, Government Survey Reveals

Only 42 percent of the applications by victims of Nazism asking property restitution have teen processed during the last three-and-a-half years, it was revealed here today by the Austrian Ministry of Property Control and Economic Planning. Only 21 percent of the applications were granted, the announcement said.

These figures tend to bear out criticism of the government’s administration the first three restitution laws voiced by many of the applicants for restitution. Government officials, and a number of Catholic and Socialist Party officials have decried all criticism as an attempt to blacken Austria’s reputation abroad.

The government’s statistics prove that of 20,380 applications received, 4,297 have been granted, 11,850 are still pending, 1,530 have been withdrawn or [transferred to the Jurisdiction of some other department and 828 have been denied. Of the applications filed under the First Restitution Law, which deals with confiscated property at present under state administration, about half are pending; under the Second Restitution Law, which provides for the return of seized property now owned by the state, about two-thirds of the cases are pending, and on the Third Restitution Law, providing for the return of property now in the hands of individuals, 64 percent of the cases are still pending.

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