Parliament leaders of Slovenia and Croatia agreed on Thursday to overcome the dispute of the defunct Slovenian bank Ljubljanska Banka (LB) "as soon as possible."
Janko Veber, president of the Slovenian National Assembly, and his Croatian counterpart Josip Leko told reporters that they would prompt their governments to find a solution for the bank dispute.
The settlement of open issues will pave the way for better economic cooperation between Croatia and Slovenia, and promote multilateral cooperation in Southeast Europe, Leko noted.
The LB issue started in the 1990s as the bank went bankrupt after the breakup of former Yugoslavia. In Croatia, some 132,000 savers claim over 178 million euros (242 million U.S. dollars) from the bank including interest. Croatian companies are estimated to owe LB over 800 million euros.
Slovenia and Croatia both declared independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991. They signed a memorandum in March 2013, under which all legal actions against LB and its successor, Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), the largest bank in Slovenia, would stay until a solution is found.
For now, the Croatian parliament has not ratified the memorandum due to different interpretations of key terms used in the document, according to Leko.
However, the Croatian legislative leader seems optimistic about finding a solution soon, which, he said, would bring both sides greater benefits.