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Europe

Human Rights Court Rules Against Poland

Poland must compensate citizens for property their families lost when the country's eastern borders shifted westward after World War II, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled on Tuesday.

Poland must compensate citizens for property their families lost when the country's eastern borders shifted westward after World War II, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled on Tuesday. Jerzy Broniowski, a Polish national born in 1944, brought his case to the court seeking compensation of €85,000 ($103,000) for his grandmother’s lost property -- a house and land in what is now Lviv, Ukraine. The case has much wider significance because it opens the door for more than 80,000 potential claims in Poland, according to government estimations. In addition to Poles, millions of Germans were expelled from their homes when borders were settled after World War II. The Polish government last year adopted a compensation law that would pay out 15 percent of the value of lost property with a ceiling of 50,000 Polish zlotys (€11,000). Tuesday’s court ruling in Strasbourg now raises the question of where the money for compensations is to come from. (EUobserver.com)