ZAGREB, January 19, 2019 – Slovenia on Friday protested against a Croatian court’s ruling in Zagrebačka Banka’s and Privredna Banka Zagreb’s suit against Ljubljanska Banka over transferred Croatian savings in Ljubljanska Banka’s former Zagreb branch.
The Zagreb County Court recently dismissed an appeal lodged by Ljubljanska Banka and Nova Ljubljanska Banka, upholding a ruling against Ljubljanska Banka, which is a breach of international and European Union law, according to a protest note which the Slovenian government handed over to the Croatian Embassy in Ljubljana today.
In the note, Slovenia says it expects Croatia to refrain from all proceedings that are in contravention with the Mokrice memorandum on succession to the former Yugoslavia whereby, according to Slovenia, the two countries agreed to stop all legal proceedings against Ljubljanska Banka in Croatian courts, Slovenian news agency STA said.
Ljubljana says Slovenia complied with the Mokrice agreement because it enabled Croatia to join the European Union, yet the legal proceedings against the bank have not been stopped.
The two countries interpret the 2013 memorandum differently. Slovenia says it was agreed that Croatia would fully and unconditionally stop the legal proceedings.
Croatia says it was agreed to put the proceedings on hold and that Slovenia has breached the memorandum because, as the then owner of its biggest bank, it has not secured the bank management’s consent to the terms of the adjournment until an alternative and mutually acceptable solution has been found.
Slovenia has reimbursed Ljubljanska Banka’s Yugoslav-era clients in Croatia after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that they should be reimbursed under the same model clients in Slovenia were after Slovenia gained independence.
However, Slovenia insists it is not accountable for the payments to Ljubljanska Banka’s Yugoslav-era clients in Croatia that came from Croatia’s public funds through Zagrebačka Banka and Privredna Banka Zagreb. It says this matter should be resolved as part of negotiations on succession to the former Yugoslavia.
More news on the Ljubaljanska Banka case can be found in the Business section.