Greek Government Announces That It Will Establish Heirless Jewish Property Fund

The Greek Government has agreed to establish within the next two weeks a foundation to administer the property of heiress Greek Jews and to use its funds for the relief and rehabilitation of needy Greek Jews, Foreign Minister Constantine Tsaldaris today announced at a press conference here.

Meanwhile, the Joint Distribution Committee office here today revealed that Joel Fisher, its counsel, had received a letter from Tsaldaris announcing the Cabinet’s action, which implements a law to this effect passed by the Greek parliament in 1946. Tsaldaris’ letter stated that the government has also decided to apply only a 25 percent tax against the property instead of the customary 50 percent because the Cabinet wishes to help the Jews. Minister of Finance Demetrius Helmis has informed Fisher that he estimates the property involved to be worth $5,000,000.

After receiving the letter, Fisher declared that “it would appear that the Greek Government is at long last taking an enlightened step on the road to full and just restitution. The Finance Minister has assured me of the full sincerity of the Greek Government in the matter.” Fisher, who has been working closely with American embassy officials and local Jewish community leaders, praised the efforts of the World Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund in the campaign.

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