U.S.-brokered talks on claims by Holocaust survivors to billions of dollars from Swiss banks are "chaotic" and far from any settlement, one of the lawyers involved said in an interview published on Wednesday.
Washington attorney Michael Hausfeld was quoted by the Swiss business newspaper Handels-Zeitung as saying he saw little chance of an agreement in the secretive talks between big Swiss banks, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and lawyers for Holocaust survivors who have filed class action suits against the banks in the United States.Asked how the talks that started in April were proceeding, Haus-feld said: "Chaotic and testy."
"I don't see any solution soon," he told the weekly newspaper.
Asked to name the main obstacles in the negotiations, Hausfeld said only: "I see little chance of an agreement."
U.S. Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat brought the sides together in a bid to end an escalating trans-Atlantic row over Jewish claims that Swiss banks withheld billions in assets deposited by victims of the Holocaust.