Germany open to reopening Holocaust reparations if Israel wants

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The German government is open to the possibility of reopening the issue of Holocaust reparations if the Israeli government makes a formal request, an official spokesman said in Berlin Wednesday. Government spokesman Thomas Steg was responding to comments that Israeli Pensions Minister Rafi Eitan made to an Israeli newspaper last week.

"If the Israeli government wants to talk formally to the German government, we will not refuse to hold talks of this nature," Steg said in answer to a question.

He noted the "migration phenomenon" that took place after the collapse of the Soviet Union when many Jews left Russia and the former Soviet republics for Israel and remarked that this could not have been foreseen in the original agreement struck in the 1950s.

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