ZAGREB, November 14, 2019 – After media reports that Croatia asks Serbia to give it back 148.5 million dollars, which is a part of the total succession fund after the break-up of the Yugoslav Federation (SFRY) and which Belgrade reportedly unlawfully spent, Foreign Affairs State Secretary said on Wednesday that Croatia demanded the explanations of how the funds went missing.
The State Secretary Andrea Metelko Zgombić told reporters that Croatia would insist on the compensation of those funds.
The Zagreb-based Večernji List daily reported on Wednesday morning that at the time of its disintegration the then Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) had 645.55 million dollars deposited in foreign currency accounts in banks outside the federation.
According to the model for the distribution of this sum in the succession process, Croatia is entitled to 23% of that amount, which means that Croatia should get 148.5 million dollars.
However, at the start of the negotiations on the distribution of that part of the succession sum, Serbia informed the other countries-successors that only 56 million dollars had been left on those accounts, declining to give any explanation where the rest of the money had ended up, the daily said.
According to the daily, Croatia possesses evidence and documents showing that Serbia used that money to pay the foreign debts of its companies in the 1990s.
During the fifth meeting of the Standing Joint Committee for monitoring the effective implementation of the succession agreement, which was held in Zagreb on Wednesday, Croatia raised the issue of those funds.
“Croatia will insist that the explanation should be given of how that money disappeared and also on the mechanisms for compensation to be provided by the country which is found to have used those funds unlawfully,” said Metelko Zgombić.
The Agreement on Succession Issues regarding the former SFRY was signed in Vienna in 2001, and entered into force in June 2004.
The document reads that the foreign currency accounts of the SFRY in mixed banks had 645.55 million dollars.
Metelko Zgombić said that all sides in the negotiations showed “understanding” and were willing to sit at the table to discuss this matter.
Since the entry into force of the agreement, the Standing Joint Committee of senior representatives of each successor State, held only five meetings.
The Croatian official admitted on Wednesday evening that the implementation of the agreement was going on at a slow pace, since each decision of the Joint Committee must be adopted unanimously.
More news about Croatia and the former Yugoslavia can be found in the Politics section.