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Germany Wary of Financial Claims on Eve of Country’s Unification

Government quarters here are letting it be known that new financial claims from Israel would irritate the German public already dismayed by the huge costs of unification.

The warnings coincided with a widely publicized proposal by Jewish Agency Chairman Simcha Dinitz that Bonn provide a special aid package to help Israel absorb Soviet Jews.

However, West German officials said Monday that Israel has not requested a special aid program and that Bonn was hardly likely to consider one.

The government is already under international pressure to raise taxes to finance the vast obligations it must undertake after West and East Germany unite on Oct. 3.

One of those obligations under study here is the reparations claims of Jews whose property was confiscated or destroyed within the boundaries of the German Democratic Republic, which will cease to exist as a sovereign state a week from Wednesday.

A commitment to restitution is contained in an annex to the unification agreements between the two Germanys.

Bonn has failed to allocate resources for the purpose, but the Finance Ministry promised it would be done as soon as the claims are in.

An Oct. 13 filing deadline was set, but an extension is being sought by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which says the deadline is unrealistic.

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