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New Jersey lawmakers propose Swiss divestment

March 12, 1997
Web posted at: 3:10 p.m. EST

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A pair of New Jersey state lawmakers have proposed that their state stop doing business with Swiss companies until the Swiss government and banks make restitution for lost assets belonging to Holocaust victims and their heirs.

Neil Cohen, a Democrat, and Robert Singer, a Republican, unveiled their plan Wednesday in which they proposed that New Jersey threaten to divest its stock holdings from Swiss companies. The state currently has $305.6 million of its pensions funds invested in Swiss companies.

The bill would bar the state from purchasing goods or services from Swiss companies and prohibit the Swiss from buying any state bonds. The Swiss parliament is considering establishing a $5 billion fund for Holocaust and other victims, as proposed by the Swiss president.

Cohen says there is no intent to take action on the bill unless "we see that promises made are not being kept."

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