By Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz Correspondent

Minister for Pensioners’ Affairs Rafi Eitan said Sunday that he never proposed reopening the 1952 agreement between Israel and Germany on reparations for Holocaust survivors.

Eitan told Israel Radio that he only sought to establish a professional team made up of German and Israeli officials that would reexamine the survivors’ needs in their old age.

“I feel that the responsibility of this issue lies with Germany, who must fund part of the expenses,” he said. Eitan maintains that he spoke with Berlin on this matter a year ago.
German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck’s spokesperson released a statement over the weekend, maintaining that Steinbrueck has no intention of opening negotiations with Israel when he comes to Israel in two weeks’ time.