Successors of former Yugoslavia discuss assets and debts

Five successor states of the former Yugoslavia
agree to resume talks on sharing the assets and
debts.

Delegations from the five successor states of the
former Yugoslavia agreed in Brussels on 19 December to
resume talks on sharing the assets of the federal state,
estimated at $100 billion.

The British mediator Sir Arthur Watts
said he was encouraged by an atmosphere of constructive
co-operation at the talks, which are to proceed in
February in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.

The assets include 46 tonnes of gold
and shares deposited at the Bank for International
Settlements in Switzerland, embassy buildings around the
world, foreign currency reserves held by the former
National Bank of Yugoslavia, military bases and
equipment.

The successor states –
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia, Macedonia and Slovenia – also have to resolve
the issues of the federal archives, and pension and other
social rights of the Yugoslav citizens.

Since the fall of the Serbian
president Slobodan Milosevic, Belgrade has dropped the
demand that it be considered the sole successor of the
Yugoslav federation.

The successor states have to agree on
a method to divide the assets. The mediators proposed
that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) principle of
contributions into the federal budget be taken into
account.

There are disagreements about that.
Slovenia, the smallest of the former Yugoslav republics,
which paid off 18.7 per cent of the Yugoslav foreign
debt, claims the right to the same share of the assets.
Poorer countries propose the size of the territory and
population to be taken as the sharing criteria, and call
for solidarity.

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