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German Parties Act to Speed Up Individual Indemnification

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In an effort to remedy the unsatisfactory state of individual indemnification by providing a parliamentary forum, all parties in the West German Parliament have joined to create a 17-man committee on indemnification matters.

A Parliamentary working group dealing with amendment of the Federal law for individual indemnification has indicated that it expects to be finished with a draft of the amendment by the end of March. The ad hoc body was formed some months ago by deputies and representatives of the Federal and state ministries concerned with the problem. If everything goes well, an amendment designed to remove the worst of the inadequacies and deficiencies of the measure may be approved by Parliament just before its summer recess.

Meanwhile, the Social Democratic Party has introduced in the Bundestag (lower house) an amendment of its own, which goes beyond the proposals incorporated into the working party’s amendment. The Social Democratic measure is designed to speed up payments and set forth clearly the responsibilities of the Federal and state treasuries in the payment of indemnification claims. In this particular field confusion has reigned since the first of the year when a previous arrangement between the states and the central government was permitted to lapse due to a widespread apathy toward the problem within the German bureaucracy.

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