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Jewish Agency hails 'breakthrough' with Swiss banks

ZURICH (CNN) -- The Jewish Agency chairman is hailing a "breakthrough" in the efforts by international Jewish organizations to get Swiss banks to investigate Jewish claims of assets that have remained dormant since World War II.

Jewish Agency Chairman Avraham Burg emerged from a meeting of an international commission in Zurich Thursday and said "Swiss banks have agreed that they will allow international accounting firms working with the commission to search -- without any limitations of Swiss banking secrecy laws -- for Jewish assets remaining in Swiss banks."

The commission, headed by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, was created last year by the Swiss Banking Association in response to pressure by jewish organizations for a thorough investigation.

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