Pravda, 24.5.2013: EN


PRAVDA: Achmea can apply the execution elsewhere if it fails in Luxembourg

TASR, 24.5.2013, 12:56


If the government manages to cancel the arbitral ruling in the case of profit bans for health insurance companies, Slovakia could request the funds to be returned, believes attorney-at-law Jana Martinkova.


Foto:TASR/Peter Frolo  attorney-at-law/Solicitor/Rechtsanwalt Jana Martinková-Advocatus Martinkova s.r.o
Bratislava 24. mája (TASR) - Even if Slovakia stops the execution of nearly 30 million EUR from their accounts in Luxembourg, the Dutch company Achmea may resume the execution of the verdict in a different country where Slovakia owns assets. If Slovakia manages to cancel the arbitral verdict concerning health insurance profit bans, Slovakia could request the funds to be returned, believes Jana Martinkova.


She claims this is standard procedure in such cases. "A non-standard procedure would only occur if the decision of the arbitral tribunal was void and unenforceable.", she told Pravda for today's edition.


According to the lawyers addressed by Pravda, the funds will remain frozen until the executor determines the amount to be deducted. Attorney-at-law Radovan Pala believes that Slovakia's appeal does not affect the withdrawal of the funds. "In terms of the legal procedure for execution, it is immaterial that a different country is taking legal steps towards an annulment of the levy."


Miroslav Slašťan claims the arbitration ruling is legally binding and enforceable. "The fact that we have money there does not mean it will remain there until the appellate court in Germany has reached a verdict. Perhaps there is a specific law in Luxembourg that states the money will not be withdrawn until it does, but usually this is not the case," he told Pravda. The money will remain frozen until it is decided which accounts will be affected and how much will be withdrawn.


The Luxembourg court has frozen funds on various accounts owned by the Slovak government, amounting to nearly 30 million euros. Execution on these funds was applied by the Dutch company Achmea, the owner of the health insurance company Union. The Slovak Ministry of Finance stated that access to the funds is not urgent as long they remain frozen. If they are withdrawn, however, the government will have to cover the shortfall from the budget. Slovakia has requested an annulment of the arbitral tribunal in Germany, where the verdict remains undecided.