Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tunisian agency helps trace unclaimed property

Following the passing of a new Knesset law protecting the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, a new agency in Tunisia has been set up to trace abandoned property. However, it is doubtful whether Tunisian Jews who use this service will ever get the Tunisian government to acknowledge responsibility for compensating the erstwhile owners:

A new agency has been established to trace unclaimed Jewish property in Tunisia.

The new agency, Immoconsult Tunisia, was given the official green light days after the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, passed a law in February conditioning the signing of peace agreements with Arab countries on compensation to Jewish refugees driven from
their homes.

A native of Sfax in the south of Tunisia, but living in France, the man behind this initiative is Victor Cohen. Immoconsult Tunisia will provide a service to owners of unclaimed buildings, apartments, shops, land or property in cities or in rural Tunisia. Realites, a Tunisian website, carried an article on this service in its edition of 15 March in Arabic.

The Immoconsult team is permitted to conduct archival research in the Tunisian courts to trace goods and property deeds considered lost forever by their Tunisian-Jewish owners.
They are also working to find the titles to lost real estate listed in various land registries or other state agencies in Tunisia.

However, Immoconsult Tunisia claims that "the Tunisian government has never sought to appropriate or to deprive in any way non-residents and expatriates of their property, adding that Tunisia is a country of law, respects private property and all the rights of citizens and non citizens. "

The new agency has already begun posting its findings on its website. It has two offices in Tunisia, one in Sfax and one in Tunis.

Read article in full (French)
Google English translation

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