The Slovenia Times

Defunct LB obstacle for Croatia Accession to EU


Meeting in Luxembourg, EU foreign ministers are expected to decide on harsher measures against Iran over its controversial nuclear programme, and a new package of sanctions against Damascus, as well as extend the sanctions against Belarus.

According to the European Commission, Slovenia has requested a meeting between Erjavec and Füle, which is scheduled for Monday morning and is expected to focus on the LB issue, which stems the 1990s and is related to the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.

The Commission's chief interest is for the issue not to hinder Croatia's accession to the EU, which is planned for 1 July 2013. The goal is the Commission's encouragement to the countries to find a mutable acceptable solution to the deposits issue.

Such a solution is in Brussels' view important also because the issue has multilateral consequences due to the fact that other succession countries are also included.

The Commission will not act as a broker in the efforts to find a solution to the LB issue as was the case in the territorial dispute; Monday's meeting is not intended to discuss any such option, sources in Brussels say.

Since Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusić is attending the ministerial in Luxembourg as an observer, Erjavec is expected to discuss the LB issue with her as well.

In exchange for ratification of Croatia's EC Accession Treaty, Slovenia insists that the LB issue be taken to the Basel Bank for International Settlements, to which Croatia has agreed. Slovenia also wants Croatia to withdraw mandates to banks for lawsuits against LB and its offshoot NLB, which Croatia has rejected arguing that a mutually acceptable solution should be found first.


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