THE SLOVAK government will pay almost Sk150 million (€35 million) to descendants of the Révay family for land and forests seized by the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia. The family lost the property after the communist takeover and failed to get it back under post-1989 restitution proceedings. Both sides agreed upon a friendly settlement by which the state agreed to pay the family a total sum for the property and damage, costs and expenses. The European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg confirmed the settlement on September 23, the ČTK newswire wrote. The dispute began in 1992.
The court decided that Slovakia should either return the lands and forests to their former owners or to pay them for the property. Michal Jurči, spokesperson of the Interior Ministry, told ČTK that the government has inclined towards paying the family.
The restitution case related to 1,500 hectares of forests and lands which the aristocratic family owned in the Turiec region, now part of Žilina Region. It was confiscated by the state after the Second World War. After the fall of the communist regime, descendants of the family managed to get back only 250 hectares. After the family failed to have its property restored by the Slovak courts, it turned to the European Court of Human Rights, whose verdicts are binding for member states of the Council of Europe, including Slovakia.
29. Sep 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports