The Slovenia Times

Croatia Has Choice: Lawsuits or EU Membership


Volk was speaking for Saturday's edition of the daily Novi list about the ongoing dispute over Croatian foreign currency savings in Slovenian LB bank.

He said a compromise solution would entail Croatia withdrawing endorsement for lawsuits that two Croatian banks have brought against LB and NLB banks, whereupon Slovenia could ratify Croatia's EU accession agreement.

"In this case we could determine a deadline, say the end of 2013, to resolve the LB dispute. If we are unable to come up with a solution, we could let a third party resolve it."

However, Slovenia will insist "at any cost" that the solution must be in line with the 2001 agreement between successors to Yugoslavia.

Volk believes that two financial experts appointed to tackle the dispute can "show the way", but politicians must do the final work.

"There is readiness on our side. Prime Minister Janez Janša said twice that he is ready for such dialogue," according to Volk.

In general, Volk believes mutual trust is being eroded, with both sides having made mistakes.

"The statement that Croatia has done all it could to ratify the accession agreement is reminiscent of a game of Chinese whispers. There is no doubt that Croatia still has work to do."

The ambassador wants a solution to the dispute arrived at in "serious dialogue, far from cameras and the media".

He is convinced the problems will be sorted out. "Slovenians and Croatians need each other. Slovenia is not afraid of Croatia's EU membership, on the contrary."


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