Slovenia demands Croatian explanation over savings row
(LJUBLJANA) - Slovenia on Thursday called on Croatia to explain its reluctance to meet commitments made during the Croatian bid to join the European Union to end a bank savings row.
Slovenia "expects Croatia will explain government decisions concerning the judicial recovery of the debt," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Over 130,000 Croatians are claiming 160 million euros ($210 million) in savings that were deposited in Slovenia's Ljubljanska Banka (LB) before the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.
Croatian companies meanwhile owe the Slovenian bank either 420 million euros, according to Zagreb, or 480 million euros, according to Ljubljana.
The comments came as Zagreb awaits the ratification of its accession treaty by all 27 EU members, including Slovenia.
During talks to join the bloc, Croatia had agreed to solve several open issues with Slovenia that had poisoned bilateral relations since the two countries gained independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.
In 2010, the centre-right government in Zagreb agreed to solve the dispute through internationally brokered talks on the distribution of the former Yugoslavia's wealth.
In April however, Croatian media reported the current government was backing continued legal procedures against LB and its legal successor Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), Slovenia's largest state-owned bank.
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