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__________________________________________

Zagreb, June, 2003

What is happening in Croatia could bluntly be called a "legislative robbery". If our just demands are ignored today, our children will be treated even worse tomorrow.  Depriving old people, who will sooner die than be able to defend their rights,  is  not  much better than killing and robbing them.  The good and honest people should hurry to help us  while we are still alive.

WHO  WILL HELP  US  TO  REALIZE  OUR  FREEDOM  OF  SPEECH  AND  KEEP  OUR  PROPERTY?

The "tenantship right" ("dwelling right") in Croatia was not a temporary tenancy or lease,  it was a valuable  permanent  property  ("divided ownership").

The US Congress demanded in 1998 that Croatia should restitute the previously seized property  (H. Res. 562,  citing Resolution 1096 of PACE).  Now the Congressmen should again demand that Resolution 1096 be respected  and the property of another  group  be not seized!  The US leaders (rather than others) are the ones who can easily stop the injustice, simply by taking an honest stand and speaking out!  Para 10 of the Resolution 1096 must be applied in its entirety, not only half-way! 

         

      It may seem  that it is certainly just and honest to return  all  the property that was seized 50 or 60 years ago by the communist states,  but it is not so simple!  Even a greater injustice can result in some cases! So, compensation  may sometimes be necessary, instead of a restitution.

      The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recommended  in 1996  (by its Resolution 1096, para 10,  cited with the H. Res. 562 of the US Congress - see: Congressional Record - House,  October 13, 1998,  p. H10727 )  that the property,  seized during the communist rule,  should be restituted  without violating the rights of tenants or current owners.  This advice has been abused in Croatia, so that a grave injustice resulted.  In 1996 some of us were deprived of our "tenantship right" ("dwelling right"), which was as strong, valuable and permanent as an ownership on an apartment! Besides, it seems to be forgotten, that not only the original owners lost their property in former Yugoslavia (SFRJ),  but also many of us,  who had worked for small salaries almost all our lives,  have likewise been the victims of communism!    [I have worked during SFRJ  as a physician - a general practitioner in Zagreb - for more than thirty years, for a salary of about 700 DEM (German marks)  per month, on average.  In Germany I would have been paid  five (or more) times as much. But I stayed here because I had my apartment i.e. my "tenantship right"]. 

      In conformity with the Resolution 1096  the nationalized apartments have not been restituted to original owners, but were cheaply sold to "tenants".  Moreover,  even some of the private owners were compelled  (in the new Republic of Croatia, by the Law on Renting Apartments, in 1996)  to cheaply sell their own (not-nationalized!) apartments to tenantsThis has been approved by the Constitutional Court too, for the sake of social justice.  However, thousands of  "tenantship-right holders" (briefly: "tenant-owners")  in Croatia,  who live,  together with their families,  in the so-called  "occupied nominally-private apartments" (seized from original owners in SFRJ),  are being deprived of their property, denied the same right  to cheaply buy their apartments, gravely damaged and discriminated against, although their positon had always been quite equal to the position of "tenant-owners" in formally-nationalized apartments I am one of them.  There are about 7000  such families, who want everybody to know about our problems, but  our access to the media has been unjustly restricted  in order to deceive the public by false propaganda.  

      (The deprived tenantship-right holders are compelled to sign contracts by which they should become temporarily-protected "lessees". I have NOT signed such a contract, because I resist being deprived of my permanent, forever-inheritable tenantship right, which is my forever-acquired property and ownership!).

      This text is based on opinions of many tenantship-right holders, lawyers, and others.  (Unfortunately, the problem cannot be explained quite briefly).  

 

      In former Yugoslavia (SFRJ),  after the 2nd world war,  all the  rented  private apartments have been seized from original owners  (but the apartments in which they lived were left to them).  The means of seizure were mainly nationalization and confiscation.  Besides,  there was also a  specific  legal  manner of seizing the owner's property and rights upon an apartment  (which is the cause of all our troubles!),  namely this:   In some cases,  although no seizure of ownership was recorded in land-registers,  almost all the ownership rights have forever been taken away from an owner by means of  legally  granting the so-called  tenantship right (dwelling right,"stanarsko pravo")  to a tenant who had lived in a private-owner's apartment before 1945,  and who also remained there after 1945.  (Such tenants had no choice, they had to accept what they were given by the laws, because they could not obtain any other apartment.  Equal tenantship rights in "private" and "public" apartments have forever been given to tenants by the Law on Housing Relations).   Today, most of those original private owners are dead,  but their inheritors should get a just compensation.

 

      I have continuously lived in such an apartment in Vlaska 84, Zagreb, Croatia,  ever since  1938,  i.e. for 65 years,  and now I am in danger of losing my right upon this apartment, which is almost all  the property that I possess.   [Moreover,  unlike many other tenantship-right holders, I have been forever granted the tenantship right  by the original private owner  (now deceased)  of her own free will, by a correct, legally based contract, which fact is well-known, and it has never been disputed by anybody.   (She had built and owned the whole house.  She had no children of her own, and she knew me very well since my childhood).  If I had known what would happen later,  I would have worked abroad  and would have certainly earned much more money in order to buy another apartment

      Falsehoods concerning the tenantship right in general, and especially in my case, have been produced in recent years by some person(s) at the European Court of Human Rights (among others), either mistakenly or deliberately].

 

      The tenantship right  was  not  a temporary  tenancy or lease!  (We have not signed lease contracts). On the contrary, the tenantship right comprised  (by the Law on Housing relations)  the main ownership rights to possess and use an apartment  forever  (namely, it could forever be inherited by the "tenant-owner's"  family-household members, from one generation to the next one, forever).  In this way, the original private owner has forever lost the most important and most valuable owner's rights on such an apartment, and so he lost his property  i.e.  more than 90 percent of the economic value of such an apartment  (which has been transferred upon the holder of the tenantship right, to be forever inherited by his household members).  Such nominal private owners, who sold such  "occupied private apartments" during SFRJ,  mainly to speculators,  could only obtain about 10 percent  of the market price of an empty (unoccupied) apartment.  The tenantship rights existed on "public-property" ("social-property") apartments too,  and these apartments have cheaply been sold  by the State  to "tenant-owners"  in 1991  (also for  less than 10 percent  of the value).

 

      Why were the former-owners' names  left in the land-registers, although their property had been seized?! 

      That was done on purpose;  that was (and is) a dishonest scheme of the then communist lawmakers (as well as some of them today),  who in that way made such apartments worthless,  in order to buy them cheaply from the original owners,  with the intention to change the laws later and sell the apartments expensively,  i.e.  to deceitfully and unlawfully deprive us of our tenantship rights,  and  to grab our property, as well as the original-owners' property. (In other words: the seized property was given forever to tenantship-right holders, but later, in the new Republic of Croatia, the tenantship right was falsely equated with a "lease"). Many such profiteers have always belonged to the ruling parties and bureaucracy (both in SFRJ and later).  They make unjust laws in order to suit personal interests.

      What is the essence of the problem?   

      In spite of the fact that the ownership rights and the property (i.e. economic value of apartments) have forever been seized from private owners  by the  law  in SFRJ,  the lawmakers in Croatia have pretended that nothing had been seized from those owners, because they have (almost continuously) been registered as "owners" in the land registers. (In fact, that had been derogated in SFRJ by the Law on housing Relations, so that land registers, in this case, have been  no proof of ownership rights).

      Note:  These apartments have obviously been seized, because, by the law, the nominal owners could never get them back;  they, or anybody else, could never use them or move into them without the tenantship-right-holder's permission.  If the apartments had been seized illegally, the owners would not lose their rights.  Nevertheless, it follows from Resolution 1096  that the tenantship right should never be violated, no matter whether the property had been seized legally or even illegally.

      ( See also "Lalic's Black Magic" - click here:

      http://soric-b.tripod.com/bstr/id6.html )

 

      What is "ownership"  and what is "property"?

      In Croatia, the  ownership  ("vlasnistvo")  is a permanent right  (lasting and inheritable forever)  to  possess,  use,  exploit  and  dispose of  corporeal  thing.  (E.g., a copyright is  not considered to be an ownership, because it ceases after a certain number of years, and it is not corporeal). 

      Property  ("imovina";  i.e. "possessions" in the sense of the European Convention on Human Rights)  comprises any rights with an  economic  value,  belonging to a person. 

      Obviously, the tenantship right is property.  It has also been considered as a "divided ownership" ("dominium divisum"),  although some people argued that it was not an ownership,  because an owner is a person who has  all  the ownership rights.  It is true that, in principle, the ownership is indivisible, and today, in Croatia, the law prescribes only one type of ownership, comprising all the ownership rights.  However, if a holder of the tenantship right were not considered an owner, then the nominal owner is  even  less  an owner (because he has had almost no ownership rights, since he lost them forever by force of law,  regardless of the land registers).  If such an  incomplete  "nominal ownership"  is considered to be  no  ownership  at all  (because there can be no other type of ownership than the one which is indivisible and comprising all the owner's rights), it follows that  - due to the permanent tenantship right -  such nominal owners have definitively been  deprived of both the ownership and the property.

      By the laws (in SFRJ as well as in today's Croatia)  the ownership on landed property is acquired (and, consequently, proved too)  by means of registration in the land registers. Neither the Constitution of SFRJ  nor the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia  mentions land registers, which have only been prescribed by other laws,  and all the laws have equal legal power.  Generally, a person who is registered as an owner in a land register,  has all the ownership rights,  unless  an exception is made by another law.  That exception has been made in SFRJ by the Law on Housing Relations.  But some of the today's nominal owners, the Cabinet (some ministers), and some others,  are  deceiving  the public  by saying (wrongly, absurdly)  that no property or ownership has ever been seized from the nominal owners of the "private occupied apartments",  because of the above-mentioned registration  in land registers.  However,  the truth is just the opposite:  By the Law on Housing Relations,  a nominal owner could never get "his" apartment against the "tenant's" will, unless he gave another, practically equal apartment, together with a tenantship right on it (worth about 90 percent of the apartment price), in exchange for "his" apartment.  So,  he had to buy "his" apartment,  which also makes it obvious that his property had been de facto seized by the laws!

 

      The Croatian Constitution (1990) has no retroactive effects.  It does not order or require the restitution of previously seized property or ownership. Therefore, the  formally-nationalized  apartments have  not  been returned to original owners,  which is in conformity with the Resolution 1096 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (1996).  But, in our case, the Resolution 1096  has not been respected!  Instead,  on the above-mentioned and similar pretexts, and in order that the resellers and other nominal owners of the "occupied private apartments" should profit,  our tenantship right has unjustly been abolished  by the Law on Renting Apartments in 1996  (even without  a compensation for its value,  which amounts to more than 90 percent of the market value of an empty apartment).   The Constitutional Court,  which is  not better or more impartial  than the rest of the government,  ruled wrongly (against us),  while the European Court of Human Rights must obviously have been deceived and misled into believing that the tenantship right was nothing more than a common renting or leaseholding

      Honest and intelligent people here agree, that the Courts' decisions are  obviously  and  undoubtedly  wrong.  That is why it seems necessary to inform directly the public - the people of the USA and Europe.  (If all that seems unbelievable to you, I agree that it really is. We also could not believe it, untill we saw it happen!).  

      Besides, contrarily to the Courts' illogical decisions, the discrimination is obvious and undeniable, because  not only the publicly-owned and nationalized apartments,  but also a part of  PRIVATELY-OWNED  apartments  (by the Law on Renting Apartments, Article 48, 1996)  have  been  CHEAPLY  SOLD  TO  TENANTS  (for less than 10 percent of the value)  against the owners' will*(!);  while we are denied the same right to cheaply buy the nominally-private apartments that we occupy, and, moreover, we are deprived of our permanent property and ownership (i.e. our tenantship right)!

( * Remark:  Some private owners of apartments,  in former Yugoslavia,  were given tenantship rights on larger "public" apartments.  Therefore  they had to  let  out  their own apartments, but they always remained the owners.  In 1996  the new Law on Renting Apartments  compelled them  to cheaply sell their own apartments to tenants,  on the pretext that they were compensated by cheaply buying those "public" apartments.  However, that compensation is questionable, because other people also cheaply bought "public" apartments  without having to cheaply sell anything!).

      According to Resolution 1096,  our tenantship right should  never be taken away from us,  and the original owners should be granted a just compensation!

      In 1998, 1999 and 2003  it was  repeatedly proposed in the Sabor (=parliament) by HDZ, SDP, and many other representatives, that we should get the right to cheaply buy our apartments like others had got too,  while the nominal owners should get a just compensation from the State. However, up to now, HDZ, SDP or others have  not made actual drafts needed for changing the bad laws!

      The Cabinet has recently made a contrary proposal,  by which we might be evicted and forcibly moved to other (much worse, smaller and cheaper) apartments, where we would be "protected lessees" (but not forever;  and that "protection" has no permanent economic value,  it is far less and weaker than our tenantship right, which was our permanent property - now being seized from us!),  or  we should pay almost a full price in order to buy those or other apartments.  [Note: The Croatian Constitution guarantees the right of "ownership"  (without mentioning the word "property"),  and so  they pretend that they are free to seize our  property (although it is, in fact, a legal de facto ownership) as they please, even without a compensation!  At the same time, they pretend to "forget" that they are violating our human and constitutional right to property!]   The proposal is expected to be presented to the Sabor (=parliament), and it is as yet unknown what will be the result.  For many years,  the government has inexcusably, irresponsibly, inhumanely and inhumanly  been delaying  the just restoration of our tenanship right  -  obviously waiting for us to die!  (I am seventy (70) years old on September 13, 2003).

      (The Serb refugees who return to Croatia are in a similar, though not identical situation).

      I don't know if I have succeeded to make the above account clear and understandable.  I certainly could not have said everything that is important.

      I beg you to put questions to me  and to require additional information and explanations.  Also, we would like to learn anybody's honest opinions and suggestions.

      Thank you very much!

      Sincerely,

Branko Soric,  dr. med.

Vlaska 84

10000 ZAGREB

CROATIA

E-mail:   branko.soric@zg.t-com.hr  

http://soric-b.tripod.com/contact/

                                   See the links at the bottom of this page!

Some web-addresses:

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/id2.html    - Resolution 1096, para 10

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/hho/id9.html   -  CHC's support

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/hho/   

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/obespravljenost/id9.html 

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/obespravljenost/id8.html

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/krivica/

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/     

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/bs/  

 

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/ulaz/

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/visp/

 

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/prijava/

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/prijava/id3.html 

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/bssp/  

   http://soric-b.tripod.com/prvokup/

See also these pages:

Page 2

Text of the message

Lalic's Black Magic

The Opposite

Values, prices, costs

Inutility of Courts

Mistake of ECHR (ENGLISH)

Summary

Everything in these sites is based on opinions of many other persons (tenantship-right holders, lawyers, and others).  If anything is unclear, additional explanations and arguments can be given. /   Tekstovi na ovim stranicama u skladu su sa misljenjima mnogih drugih osoba (nositelja stanarskog prava, pravnika, i drugih).  Eventualne nejasnoce mogu se objasniti i dodatno argumentirati. 

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