Croatia Has Still Not Received Slovenia’s Lawsuit in Ljubljanska Banka Case

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Slovenia has allegedly filed a lawsuit against Croatia at the European Court of Human Rights.

The Office of the Croatian Representative at the European Court of Human Rights announced on Friday that it had not yet received a suit that had been filed by Slovenia against Croatia in order to collect Ljubljanska Banka’s claims from Croatian companies, reports HRT on September 16, 2016.

“In accordance with the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Rules of Court, the European Court will, if and when it receives the Slovenian lawsuit, first decide whether it is permissible, and then whether it is founded. Croatia will have the opportunity to comment on Slovenia’s allegations after the European Court forwards the suit”, announced the Office.

The European Court has so far considered three cases related to the Ljubljanska Banka case: Kovačić v. Slovenia, which was stopped after the plaintiffs received their claims during the proceedings; Ališić v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Macedonia, where the Court established the responsibility of Slovenia for return of the so-called “old foreign currency savings” of Ljubljanska Banka to depositors outside Slovenia; and the case of Ljubljanska Banka v. Croatia, which was dismissed after it was found inadmissible, announced the Office.

The possibility of a lawsuit against Croatia was mentioned last year by Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar because the Court made a ruling which forced Slovenia to start paying out savings deposited at Ljubljanska Banka by depositors from Croatia and Bosnia. According to Slovenian analysts, with this new lawsuit Slovenia wants to prove that Croatia has systematically violated the rights of the former Ljubljanska Banka branch in Zagreb and is demanding compensation worth 360 million euros. However, according to the media, one the reasons for the lawsuit could be an attempt to reach a settlement with the mediation of the court.

Slovenian banking expert France Arhar, who is also a former central bank governor, said that the main problem was the fact that depositors of Ljubljanska Banka had won their case against the bank at the European Court of Human Rights, while on the other hand Ljubljanska Banka cannot force Croatian companies to pay their debts. “I hope that the new government in Croatia will have a different approach to this issue. It would be very positive if we could find a normal business solution”, said Arhar, who did not rule out the possibility of a settlement between the two sides.


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