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Slovenia Should Pay Croatian Savers EU150 Million, Jutarnji Says

The Slovenian government should pay Croatian citizens with deposits at Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d.’s predecessor 150 million euros ($190 million), after the European Court of Human Rights verdict becomes final, Jutarnji List reported yesterday, citing Zdenko Rogic, a financial expert involved in NLB-related talks between the two nations.

About 130,000 Croatians who saved at the Slovenian bank before the breakup of former Yugoslavia should get their money back without having to file a separate lawsuit, Rogic said, according to Jutarnji.

The Strasbourg, France-based court on Nov. 6 ruled in favor of two Bosnian citizens who sued Slovenia for lost savings, setting a precedent for other former Yugoslav savers outside Slovenia who have been trying to recoup their money. Slovenia said it will appeal the verdict.

Rogic and France Arhar, his Slovenian counterpart, have been seeking to solve another aspect of the dispute. Croatia, which took over the debt of 300,000 Croat savers, is seeking from Slovenia 270 million euros ($344 million) of former deposits. Slovenia said last month it will ratify Croatia’s European Union entry, planned in July next year, only after the Zagreb government withdraws the lawsuits.

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