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Serbian companies, which have unsuccessfully tried to regain their real estate in Croatia since the collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, should now get the support of the state because Belgrade is determined to create a register of their property. According to the first estimates, the value of this property amounts to about 1.8 billion euros.
The Republic Property Directorate called legal entities yesterday, companies and public institutions that had immovable property in the territory of the former SFRY republics to submit data and documentation in order to establish a single registry.
- The goal is to create a register so that we can take a stand and help them as a state - explained Jovan Vorkapic, director of the Republic Directorate.
Among those whose property was captured in the neighboring country are NIS, Genex, Jugobanka, Prvi Maj, Zastava, Invest bank, Tigar, Putnik, Centrotekstil, EI Nis, Vino Zupa...
The reaction of the state is necessary for many, as Croatia has so far tried to discourage owners to seek out what is theirs. From the rejection of the lawsuit, through waiting for a bilateral agreement, until the referral to the Strasbourg court... And just to make the owners give up due to long and expensive processes.
DISRESPECT OF ANNEX G
The return of the property should be regulated by the Annex G of Vienna Agreement on Succession, signed by the successor countries of the former SFRY in 2004. According to it, all property rights must be returned to the situation as of December 31, 1990, when Serbian companies owned large amounts of land in Croatia.
Since the signing of Annex G, Croatia has done everything to bypass the agreement, while Serbia has already returned numerous properties to their companies.
- The right of private property is an inalienable right and that is the attitude of our Constitutional court. A law was passed in Croatia overnight where all of the properties were given to Croatia - Vorkapic said to Tanjug.
COMPLAINTS IN STRASBOURG
Serbian companies were trying to regain what they belong to them, complaining to the court in that country and in Strasbourg. The representatives of Serbian companies referred to the Annex G, but Zagreb said that Annex G is impossible to implement without the international agreement with Serbia.
At the same time, Zagreb has been refusing to sign the agreement for 14 years. The Human Rights Court in Strasbourg recommended that the two countries conclude a bilateral agreement, but also stressed that "Croatia has not yet adopted any legislation to implement an agreement which would activate Annex G".
Not only that they did not adopt laws that would facilitate the implementation of the Annex, but in May this year, Croatia further prevented the possibility for Serbian companies to regain their assets. At that time, the Law on Property Management was passed in Parliament, which allowed the ownership of Serbian companies to be given a multiannual lease "until the conclusion of an appropriate international agreement", Politika reports.
- The adoption of this law represents the final act of seizing the property of Serbian companies, banks, and other institutions. Here, Croatia wants to protect itself, if by chance a lawsuit by a Serbian company passes in Strasbourg. Croatia would say, we can't return the property since it was leased to Croatian company for 30 years. Everything comes to the fact that those who rent the companies will be able to buy them after 30 years - Miodrag Linta said, president of the Alliance of Serbs from the region for N1.
VIDEO: Footage of homes destroyed in a landslide in Croatia
(Telegraf.co.uk / Politika)