Prague, Feb 10 (CTK) – The Czech state faces a high number of arbitration disputes with investors, and Argentina and Venezuela are the only countries that deal with more arbitrations, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) wrote on Wednesday, citing the data of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
According to the Finance Ministry, the Czech state is currently dealing with 12 arbitration disputes in which foreign investors, including seven concerning solar plant operators, claim almost 10 billion crowns.
The Czech Republic has been ordered to pay compensation of nearly 15 billion crowns so far. The most devastating for the state was the dispute with the U.S. firm CME that received a 10-billion compensation for the commercial television Nova, the paper writes.
The strongest wave of the present arbitrations was initiated in 2013 by investors in solar technologies who claim that the Czech state harmed their businesses with its retroactive and discriminatory measures. Verdicts in these disputes may be issued next year, the Finance Ministry said.
A big new arbitration may start if Czech-German businessman Vaclav Fischer decides to sue the state in his effort to win compensation for lost property.
Fischer’s firm AMF Aircraftleasing went bankrupt and two of its Boeing 737 airplanes were seized within the bankruptcy proceedings in 2005, against which the firm protested. The planes were parked outside at the airport and were not used for several years. Fischer says they were later sold for a low price due to this and he claims three billion crowns from the state, HN writes.
Arbitration disputes are based on bilateral agreements on the protection of investments that the Czech Republic signed mostly with Western countries in the early 1990s. These agreements primarily were an additional protection of firms that planned to invest in the region, but did not want to rely on the Czech judiciary, the paper writes.