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ČR facing another arbitration lawsuit worth CZK 1bn
By ADAM JUNEK / AKTUÁLNĚ.CZ / Published 21 April 2008
Translated and adapted with permission by the Prague Daily Monitor

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Aktualne.cz
Two big arbitration lawsuits involving the Czech Republic are drawing to a close. The dispute with Nomura, which may cost the state CZK 7 billion at worst, is in the final phase with all legal steps already taken. Potential losses in the lawsuit with EMV over the broadcasting licence for TV3 are estimated at CZK 3 billion.

But more entrepreneurs, who say they have been harmed by the Czech Republic, are coming up with their claims.

The latest arbitration lawsuit against the Czech Republic has been filed by entrepreneur Georg Nepolsky, Aktuálně.cz reports. Nepolsky demands CZK 968 million before interest in compensation for his lost investment in underground water extraction for the food industry.

More to come

"About six lawsuits have been filed in the last few weeks. Two of them are worth almost CZK 1 billion. The Georg Nepolsky case is one of them," said Radek Šnábl, in charge of arbitration lawsuits at the Finance Ministry.

A long-dragging dispute over the Cihelna golf course in Karlovy Vary will also end up in an arbitration courtroom. German investor Peter Franz Vöcklinghaus has decided to claim CZK 620 million for a lost investment. Including interest, the sum will reach almost CZK 1 billion.

The other lawsuits are not that big. In March, the Finance Ministry received an announcement of a CZK 180 million dispute in another case labelled "Nepolsky vs. the Czech Republic".

The biggest lawsuit the Czech Republic is embroiled in is the CZK 20 billion arbitration with ArcelorMittal over the privatisation of the Vítkovice Steel steelworks from which Mittal was eliminated.

Union banka, a hard nut to crack

Currently, the dispute has been shelved and both sides are trying to reach truce. Šnábl and Mittal both said a deal could be ready by the end of June.

Other big arbitration lawsuits include the Czech Republic's dispute with Investmart over failed Union banka. The lawsuit over compensation estimated at CZK 5-10 billion is in the hands of the London arbitration court which has ruled in favour of Nomura in its dispute with the Czech Republic.

"It will not be an easy lawsuit. Investmart will definitely use the IPB arbitrary proceedings to prove the Czech Republic treats banks unfair," says Šnábl.

You can contribute to the Monitor's public reader comments forum by sending an email to talkback@praguemonitor.com. This comments log can be found in our opinion section. Look for the TalkBack logo.

Originally published in Czech by Aktuálně.cz.
Translated, adapted and republished with permission by the Prague Daily Monitor.
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