Foreign Minister of Republic of Croatia Ms.Vesna Pusic said on Saturday her country was ready to solve a bank savings dispute with Republic of Slovenia that threatens to stall Croatia’s accession to the EU.
“We will solve this problem and we are ready to solve it,” Pusic said quoted by HINA news agency.
She was responding to Slovenia’s recent threat that it would not ratify Croatia’s accession to the EU unless a deal was reached over the banking row between the two former Yugoslav republics.
While Croatia is due to join the European Union on July 1, 2013, it still requires all 27 member states to ratify the accession treaty.
More than 130,000 Croatians claim they deposited 160 million euros ($207 million) in savings in Slovenia’s Ljubljanska Banka before Yugoslavia fell apart in 1991.
In a bid to secure EU accession, Zagreb in 2010 agreed to resolve the issue through internationally brokered talks on the distribution of the former Yugoslavia’s wealth, rather than through separate legal proceedings.
Banking experts from the two countries met in August and earlier this week to try to resolve the dispute but have so far failed to find common ground.
“Financial problems and different views should be solved by financial experts and proposed to our governments, that is why we named them,” Pusic stressed.
“I hope that it will not be one of the issues when someone from Brussels would have to get involved in any way,” she added.