Macedonia faces lawsuits from four companies worth more than 700m euros, TV Sitel reported.
Euromax Resources is currently awaiting a settlement before the Arbitration Court in Paris and Washington, seeking EUR 300m in damages for breach of contract for the Ilovica mine. Kazandol’s concessionaire Sardich MF seeks 350m euros from the state who terminated the Valandovo mine contract.
The $40m Hellenic Petroleum decision is still pending because of a deal canceled by Greek companies and a former owner of India’s Kuniko Resources, a Feni owner, who said the sale of the plant was in breach of the contract and legal rules.
Macedonia’s Economy Minister Bektashi hopes that the arguments are on the side of the state and in most disputes will not pay millions in damages, though in reality things are not looking good.
We are ready for all arbitration proceedings and we already have law firms that represent us, but we also have made an operational plan. I am convinced that most of the arbitration proceedings have already been won, and Kazandol and OKTA are in the process of preparing the documentation, said Kreshnik Bekteshi, Minister of Economy.
Macedonia will also have to pay any additional costs arising from the arbitration proceedings if it loses the dispute. Companies, meanwhile, will demand that they be paid interest on top of it.
Considering the level of cluelessness now rampant among Macedonian Government officials, it’s highly likely Macedonia will once pay-up great deal of money. Such was the case with OKTA, where the state lost the dispute which also “believed” it will win back in 2007 because it did not respect the contract to buy 500,000 tonnes of crude oil per year. Of the $31 million owed, the state paid $40 million. In 2008, Okta filed a lawsuit seeking another $40 million in damages.