ZAGREB, March 26, 2018 – Slovenia’s government on Monday voiced its opinion on an opposition-sponsored bill that would protect the New Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) from rulings by Croatian courts regarding transferred savings from the defunct Ljubljanska Banka Zagreb, noting that it generally supported the objectives of the bill, however, that it was necessary to modify it and adding that the government was prepared to constructively cooperate with parliament and opposition parties in that regard.
Miro Cerar’s cabinet said in a press release that it was necessary to ascertain Slovenia’s “current stance” regarding the NLB and the problem of old foreign currency savings accounts dating to the period of the former Yugoslavia.
That stance is that the NLB is not the legal successor of the “old” Ljubljanska Banka because Slovenia’s constitutional law in 1994 determined that they were “two entirely separate banks,” and the issue of old foreign currency savings accounts was a matter of succession that can only be resolved through an agreement of all the successors to the former Yugoslavia.
In that regard, Slovenia considers that the Croatian courts have “arbitrarily and inconsistently” interpreted Slovenia’s constitutional law regarding the transferred savings and at the same time waived the former Ljubljanska Banka Zagreb’s right to launch procedures in Croatia regarding those claims.
Opposition parties have recommended that, prior to being dissolved due to the snap election, the current parliament should adopt a constitutional law which would ban the 100% state-owned NLB from paying out compensation pursuant to decisions delivered by the Croatian courts in the suits filed by Privredna Banka Zagreb and Zagrebačka Banka against the NLB.
Opposition parties insist that, despite the tight time frame, parliament should adopt the constitutional law as soon as possible.