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Slovakia wins another arbitration proceeding

THE ARBITRATION tribunal dismissed a lawsuit submitted by Austrian company European American Investment (Euram) Bank against Slovakia. The Austrian firm is a shareholder of former private health insurer Apollo. It sought from Slovakia more than €131 million in compensation for damages caused by the ban on private health insurer profits, which the first government of Robert Fico passed in 2007.

THE ARBITRATION tribunal dismissed a lawsuit submitted by Austrian company European American Investment (Euram) Bank against Slovakia. The Austrian firm is a shareholder of former private health insurer Apollo. It sought from Slovakia more than €131 million in compensation for damages caused by the ban on private health insurer profits, which the first government of Robert Fico passed in 2007.

The court, however, did not specify whether or not Slovakia harmed the insurer, the Sme daily wrote in its June 6 issue.

“Slovakia won another arbitration proceeding with shareholders of health insurers, and based on the verdict of the tribunal it does not have to pay tens of millions of euros to the Austrians,” the press department of the Finance Ministry said, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Euram Bank initiated the proceeding in November 2009. It complained that the ban on profits violated the bilateral investment agreement between Austria and Slovakia. The firm also turned to the district court in Bratislava over the same matter in 2010. Because it also went to the Slovak court, the arbitration tribunal turned down the complaint, as reported by Sme.

“The tribunal rules that Euram Bank gave up its right to arbitration and that the tribunal does not have the right to decide over the matter,” the Finance Ministry added, as quoted by Sme.

The arbitration has been stopped. The arbitration court will decide over who will pay the costs and the lawyers’ fees in another proceeding.

Euram Bank acquired its 51-percent share of Apollo in 2007 through its subsidiary E.I.C., but sold its share of the subsidiary one year later. In 2010 Apollo merged with Dôvera, SITA wrote.

Source: Sme, SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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