JULY 23 2012 16:27h
The European Commission believes that the issue of the Ljubljanska Bank debt towards Croatian clients is a bilateral issue between Croatia and Slovenia and hopes the ratification of Croatia's Treaty of Accession with the European Union would be completed in time so that Croatia could enter the European Union on 1 July 2013, as planned, spokesman for the European Commission Peter Stano said on Monday.
This is primarily a bilateral issue between Croatia and Slovenia. We shall continue to encourage both sides to find a mutually acceptable solution. When it comes to the ratification process, it is in the hands of individual member states and we, on behalf of the European Commission, can only say we hope the ratification process would proceed as planned and that everything will be wrapped up in time for Croatia to enter the European Union on 1 July 2013, as planned, Stano told reporters when asked to comment on statements by Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec who said that resolving the issue of the now defunct Ljubljanska Bank of Slovenia was a prerequisite for ratifying Croatia's Treaty of Accession with EU in the Slovenian Parliament.
Stano said it was not up to the European Commission to deal with the Ljubljanska Bank issue or to comment on statements made by Slovenian or Croatian officials, adding that Croatia had confirmed its readiness to resume negotiations on that issue under the auspices of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel in agreement with Slovenia.
I can only confirm that we encourage both sides to find a fast and mutually acceptable solution to that issue. This is a bilateral issue which must be resolved on a bilateral level, under the auspices of the BIS, Stano said.
The European Commission said in May that in 2010 Croatia had expressed readiness to discuss the issue of Croatian clients of Ljubljanska Bank under the auspices of the BIS. After that, the then finance minister Ivan Suker sent a letter to the BIS confirming Croatia's readiness.
The BIS replied to Suker's letter very quickly and already in November 2010 said that it could not mediate in the dispute because it could not offer anything new in relation to the failed succession talks, conducted between June 2001 and September 2002. (Hina)