As Suzana Varosanec/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, precisely how the state will react to the new restructuring plan as a way out of the difficulties of the company owned by Motel Plitvice will soon be shown through the debtor’s pre-bankruptcy proceedings.
That said, after the decision to mobilise Motel Plitvice and employees of the company in the function of accepting refugees from Ukraine (as a checkpoint), it’s possible that it could become a new precedent in typical Croatian pre-bankruptcy practice.
This remains an open option due to the legal deadlines that threaten to form a break in the continuation of the procedure and in the context of the currently extraordinary circumstances due to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. These dire circumstances called for the mobilisation of Motel Plitvice in a period when the financial and operational restructuring plan was being made. None of the above could have been predicted, and it turns out that these unfolding circumstances are already affecting the normal procedure and the plan, as well as the debtor’s financial status.
New ”dice” are now being rolled in the pre-bankruptcy mosaic and they have erupted at a stage when the EU and Croatia are preparing a comprehensive response to the upcoming exodus of refugees from Ukraine. According to Crisis Commissioner Janez Lenarcic, the number of Ukrainian refugees, if we’re to go by UN estimates, could exceed 10 million individuals.
The Republic of Croatia, in resolving the great humanitarian crisis, should accept 35-70,000 of these people and, by activating a temporary mechanism, ensure their proper and organised reception for a longer period, which includes integration into social and educational systems, as well as the labour market. One of the first checkpoints which was immediately activated as a transit solution is Motel Plitvice with about 40 employees, all of whom have now been made available to the state.
Croatian Motorways (HAC) has confirmed that they received information on the Order for the mobilisation of Motel Plitvice to organise the accommodation of refugees from Ukraine, which, among other things, stipulates that the implementation money is being provided from the state budget for 2022.
They pointed out that therefore, any legal activities regarding Motel Plitvice will not be performed as long as this mobilisation remains in force. However, they added that after this situation is dealt with, the activities on the reconstruction of the rest area will be continued.
Through HAC’s evaluation of these new circumstances, the debtor can obviously hope for a break to resolve the pre-bankruptcy issues in which the creditors seem to be able to settle successfully based on extra income. In this procedure, out of 39 million kuna in the claims of unsecured creditors (there are no secured ones), about 33 million fall on the claim of HAC and close to 4 million on Plitvice National Park.
Time is running out despite these unprecedented circumstances because the deadline approved for the extension of the procedure expires on April the 11th, but according to the director of Motel Plitvice, Hrvoje Bilic, a solution will obviously be found in extraordinary circumstances when it comes to extending it further.
“According to the agreement, a legal solution is now being sought for a model that would ensure the continuation of business for some time,” explained Bilic, adding that the workers were relieved because of it. The head of the Trade Union of Tourism and Services of Croatia, Eduard Andric, noted that the aim is to keep hold of staff regardless of the outcome of the pre-bankruptcy proceedings.
The next step is to expect a new intervention in the restructuring plan, and it was confirmed that a very generous offer will remain on the table to settle creditors in the amount of 60 percent (with a proposal to write off 40 percent) in 48 installments, with a one year grace period.
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