By Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz Correspondent, and Reuters

Germany is willing to discuss the possibility of making extra pension payments to Holocaust survivors if that is what the Israeli government wants, a German government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Spokesman Thomas Steg was responding to a question about comments made by Pensioner Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan, in Haaretz last week.

“If we get to the point where we need further negotiations, we’ll see,” Steg said. “We wouldn’t rule out having talks if the Israeli government wants them. We would not refuse talks.”

This is the first positive signal from the German government since the reports of Eitan’s statements over the weekend.