Serbia passes restitution law for WWII properties

AP News

9/26/2011 10:08:59 AM - AP News

Serbia's lawmakers have approved a law on the return of property confiscated by the communist authorities after World War II, which is key for its efforts to eventually join the European Union.

The reform, however, has faced criticism from the property heirs, who complain the law will not undo the injustice done to their families.

The bill was backed by 117 out of 154 lawmakers present Monday in parliament, while 23 voted against. It is part of a reform package regulating property ownership in the Balkan country, one of the conditions Serbia needed to fulfill to formally become candidate for EU membership later this year.

The restitution bill envisages the return of property or land when possible, or compensation in state bonds from a euro2 billion ($2.69 billion) fund.