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NEWS

Continued judicial proceedings against LB and NLB in Zagreb

Ljubljana, 8 April 2019 – The first instance (municipal) court in Zagreb today held a hearing in repeated proceedings in the civil case of the plaintiff Zagrebačka banka (ZaBa) against the defendants Ljubljanska banka (LB) and Nova Ljubljanska banka (NLB). This is one of the judicial proceedings related to the transferred foreign currency savings in Croatia. ZaBa has filed an action requesting the payment of the principal value in the amount of SEK 7,524,287.07, NOK 106,477.07 and DKK 627,158.60, in the total amount of approx. EUR 820,000, as well as the payment of interest and the costs of proceedings. On procedural grounds, the main hearing was postponed to 14 June 2019.

Slovenia underlines that in judicial proceedings related to the transferred foreign currency savings, Croatia does not respect the Memorandum of Understanding concluded in Mokrice on 11 March 2013. The Memorandum stipulates that Slovenia and Croatia will resolve the issue of the transferred foreign currency savings with LB in Croatia based on the Agreement on Succession Issues (Annex C). By signing the Memorandum, the Croatian government undertook to stay all judicial proceedings initiated by ZaBa and Privredna Banka Zagreb (PBZ) pending the final settlement of this issue and, for the purposes of resolving this issue, to refrain from initiating any new judicial or other proceedings concerning the transferred foreign currency savings.

 

In the Memorandum, Slovenia undertook to start – upon its signature – the ratification process for Croatia's EU Accession Treaty at the National Assembly. Slovenia honoured its obligations under the Memorandum, but Croatia did not. Croatia seeks to circumvent the Memorandum provisions with a view to precluding the stay of judicial proceedings until the final resolution of the issue as part of succession by refusing to acknowledge that the Memorandum has the status of a treaty. Such actions are contrary to agreements made between the two countries.

 

On this occasion, Slovenia is again concerned and dissatisfied with the violations of international obligations and provisions of the EU acquis on the part of Croatia, and with the arbitrary and erroneous interpretation of the Slovenian Constitutional Act amending the Basic Constitutional Charter on the Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic of Slovenia by Croatian courts. The Constitutional Act only transferred LB’s specific obligations and rights to the newly established NLB, not including the obligations for foreign currency in foreign currency accounts and deposits outside Slovenia and the associated claims. This means that, unjustly and contrary to the Slovenian legal order and treaties, NLB is being considered a second defendant in these proceedings.

 

Slovenia expects Croatia to fully implement its international obligations and ensure the stay of all legal proceedings before Croatian courts initiated by ZaBa and Privredna Banka Zagreb until the issue of assuming the guarantee of the former SFRY for foreign currency savings deposited with commercial banks in the former SFRY has been finally resolved.

 

Slovenia would like to stress once again that the principles of the rule of law and the peaceful settlement of disputes are at the core of the modern international and European communities.

 

Media Relations Office