FinMin on Miculas case: EC forces us to recover the debt already paid. Romania risks infringement

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Romania paid the debt to Micula brothers through the payment mechanism regulated by the Competition Council, before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) decision of last week in Washington, Ministry of Finance (MFP) announced on Monday, informs.

The Ministry in case has tried to extinguish the debt to Miculas by offsetting them against debts to the budget of companies owned by the businessmen. In 2014, MFP removed debts of RON 337 million (EUR 76 million) that Miculas’ European Food SA has to the state.

But the European Commission (EC) found this debts offsetting illegal and said to Romania in September 2014 that “had reached the preliminary conclusion that payment of the compensation awarded by the Tribunal to the claimants through the implementation or execution of the Award constitutes State aid.”

“According to the European Commission decision, Ministry of Finance must still recover the full amount. Otherwise, Romania risks triggering infringement procedure,” the ministry said.

The amount is huge, because of interest rates accumulated in the past two years. However, Romania must respect ICSID decision also and otherwise the lawyers were instructed to recover the money focusing even against state-owned assets in countries that are part of ICSID.

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