Germany agreed to a cost-of-living pension hike for at least 50,000 Holocaust survivors in Europe.The decision was announced Wednesday after annual negotiations with Germany led by the Conference for Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.According to an announcement by the Claims Conference, negotiators also secured an additional 1,500 pensions for survivors who are or were citizens of certain Western European countries.”These are very important breakthroughs, which will benefit Holocaust survivors in many countries,” said Claims Conference Executive Vice President Gideon Taylor. “We are continuing to negotiate with the German government over a range of other critical issues.”The cost-of-living increase will take effect Oct. 1, 2007. Under the new plan, the German Ministry of Finance will increase monthly payments from $235 to $268 for eligible Holocaust survivors living in the European Union. About 14,500 survivors in non-E.U. former Eastern bloc countries, including Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, will see their payments increase from $168 to $221.The Claims Conference delegation was co-chaired by Taylor and the treasurer of the conference, Roman Kent. It was the first annual negotiation session in several years to take place without Israel Singer, who announced recently that he would not seek reelection as the organization’s president.
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