JULY 24 2012 19:40h
Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said in Brussels on Tuesday that the problem of Croatian depositors with the now defunct Slovenian bank Ljubljanska Banka could be resolved fast if the Croatian government showed some flexibility, adding that he did not understand why lawsuits against the bank were being continued in Croatia.
"We could solve this problems very fast if the Croatian government showed some flexibility.... If the (Croatian) Finance Ministry withdraws powers of attorney, the ratification (of Croatia's EU accession treaty in the Slovenian Parliament) would start tomorrow," Erjavec told a news conference after a meeting of the EU foreign ministers.
Slovenia demands that Croatia withdraw powers of attorney given to Zagrebacka Banka and Privredna Banka Zagreb to continue lawsuits against Ljubljanska Banka, filed by two Croatian banks, Zagrebacka Banka and Privredna Banka Zagreb, before Croatian courts over unpaid deposits of Croatian clients with Ljubljanska Banka, which were transferred into public debt.
Although Croatian courts have so far dismissed such lawsuits, Slovenia fears that some of the proceedings could end with verdicts against Ljubljanska Banka and once Croatia is a member of the EU, such verdicts are legally binding.
He reiterated that Croatia should honour the commitments made by the previous Croatian government. Slovenia insists that Croatia has agreed to deal with the Ljubljanska Banka problem as part of the succession process.
Asked if he feared that other EU member states could have a negative opinion about Slovenia's behaviour, Erjavec said that other EU members also expected Croatia to honour its commitments.
Asked if Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic said anything about powers of attorney, Erjavec said Pusic reiterated the position that it was necessary to separate the Ljubljanska Banka issue from the ratification of Croatia's EU accession treaty and that there was no mention of powers of attorney. (Hina)