Agrobanka shareholders turn to EU for help

Agrobanka shareholders say they have had to turn to the representatives of the EU, as the Serbian government has not been paying attention to their problems.

Source: B92

The shareholders announced that they have decided to raise their legal battle for the return of "the brutally looted private assets" to a higher level, adding they notified the entire state administration and relevant state institutions.

According to a statement, this step was necessary "because the Serbian government does not heed the demands of shareholders of Agrobanka who are the victims of the state-political-financial tycoon crime, and since the fight against corruption and crime as well as creating a positive business climate for the arrival of new investors are just empty campaign promises. "

"Since May 25, 2014, two years after the extremely dubious closing of Agrobanka, a politically directed trial has not moved from the dead point and there is a total media blackout about the affair of the century, we started addressing representatives of the governments of member states of the European Union, thus EU bodies and commercial entities across Europe and the world," the statement said.

Shareholders of Agrobanka noted that they repeatedly received letters from the office of the EU Enlargement Commissioner and the EU Delegation in Serbia who within their mandate gave full support in the form of monitoring the fight against corruption that is a priority within chapters 23 and 24 of accession negotiations. It is added that EU representatives expressed their gratitude because the letters of shareholders of Agrobanka "enabled them to realistically comprehend how the rule of law was being implemented in Serbia."

"Security of investments, efficient and fair judiciary, respect for human rights and private property are just some of the main achievements of the European Union, which Serbia does not respect. In this case everything is known, but still nothing has been done since the capital of domestic and foreign shareholders of Agrobanka ended up with 'local businessmen' that are associated with the government and who are financing political parties," the statement claims.

It is also stated that their last address was to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso ahead of his visit to Serbia.

The statement concluded by saying that "the fight would continue until the final and fair compensation of the looted shareholders."

The National Bank of Serbia introduced receivership in Agrobanka in December 2011, due to the bank's inability to collect previously approved loans.

In late May 2012, the bank was shut down and Nova Agrobanka set up at the same time, with the state of Serbia giving EUR 85 million, while the Deposit Insurance Agency contributed with the capital worth EUR 5 million. Bankruptcy procedure for Nova Agrobanka was launched in October of the same year.

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