The brothers Ioan and Viorel Micula, the owners of European Food, won the final trail against Romanian state at International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the Court of Arbitration from the World Bank and they have to receive compensation of more than 200 mil euro, declared the businessman Ioan Micula for Mediafax.
“On Friday evening, at Washington, it was given the annulment decision, made by Romanian state together with the European Commission against the decision in the trail from ICSID and all their requirements were rejected. The decision is final and the state does not have any other way of annulment. The decision is enforceable in all the countries under ICSID”, said Ioan Micula, on Saturday.
The sum which the state must pay grew constantly, starting from 2013 when the decision was taken, but it was later attacked by Romania and European Commission. According to ICSID website, to number of states which signed is around 160.
“The amount is huge because of penalties that had accumulated during the last two years. There are more than two hundred millions euro. Every day in which it is not paid adds tens of thousands of euros”, said Ioan Micula.
The state has to respects ICSID’s decision. Contrary the lawyers were instructed to recover the money using the state-owned assets in other countries that are members of ICSID.
“It is not our job. We gave it to the lawyers who are going to recover them. Maybe you heard that, some months ago, but then it was not final the annulment decision, that in Belgium it was attempted to execute some state societies (ROMATSA). That time they escaped and the suspension was raised. I don’t know what the lawyers did. There are officers of the court who received the case. If the stats pays it is well. If not, the penalties will sum up”, said the business man.
Since the decision from 2013 there were added tens of millions of euros, together with the costs the state had with the lawyers, another millions of euros.
“If they were paying that time, they could get rid of this amount. It is not going to be reduced. It raised at a rate several times higher than the state can borrow”, he declared too.
In terms of European Commission’s involvement, which asked Romania not to pay according the decision from 2013 and intervened to support Romania in the annulment requirement, rejected on Friday by ICSID, Ioan Micula says that the involvement of EU executive is a part of the negotiation with US in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – TTIP.
“The European Union uses the Romanian state to make its political game with TTIP. Not EU is paying but the state does not always listen to EU. Many times, it did the contrary”, he added.
The group of companies owned by Micula Brothers has another trial with the Romanian state at ICSID, regarding the black market of alcoholic drinks and the damages required are bigger, he said too.
“This is nothing in comparison with the trial against Romania regarding the black market of alcoholic drinks, where the international experts found big lost sums. We invested around 2,5 million euros in factories, in distribution and in brands but we cannot use them because the black market has more than 90%. The Romanian state does not take any measure, the state workers are not interested…(..). You cannot ask for a tax to be paid just for some persons, the others being clearly protected by the state workers or by the ones who have an interest .(..). When I opened these factories, in the first year I was working at around 80% of the capacity of alcoholic drinks factories and now we are under 2%.You cannot be competitive when on the black market the prices and 3-4 times smaller. (…) You can go to any market from Bucharest and you can find tuica, palica (brandy) in time when it is just imported alcohol diluted with water and flavored”, declared Ioan Micula too, for Mediafax.
The brothers Ioan and Viorel Micula, the owners of European Food, won in December 2013, at the Court of Arbitration from Washington, a lawsuit against Romania as a consequence of stopping the fiscal facilities, having to receive around 376 mil lei, adding the penalties too.
At 11th December 2013, the total amount owed by the Romanian state raised to 971.88 mil LEI (178 mil euros), according to the European Commission.
MFP: Amount owed in Micula case paid; European Commission compels Romania to recoup the money
Romania has already paid the compensation owed to Micula brothers established in 2013 by the Arbitration Court in Washington, but it must implement the European Commission’s decision to recoup the amount, because otherwise it risks triggering the infringement procedure as the payment is considered state aid, according to a press release from the Ministry of Public Finance sent on Monday to Agerpres.
“The Ministry of Public Finance took note of the decision of the International Arbitration Court with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in the Micula case [to dismiss the annulment request of the original ruling, submitted by Romania]. From a legal viewpoint, the ruling does not change at all the steps taken by the Romanian state until this date. Moreover, as early as March 9, 2015, the MFP carried out completely the arbitration ruling, without this entailing the renunciation to the annulment request. The amount was paid through the payment mechanism established by the Romanian Parliament by law,” the MFP release mentions.
The press release mentions that, according to the ICSID ruling, Romania will bear the costs of the procedure, but not the costs of legal representation of the parties and other expenses incurred by these in connection with the arbitration case.
On the other hand, the MFP must implement the European Commission’s decision to recoup the amount. Otherwise, Romania risks the triggering of the infringement procedure. Enforcing the European Commission’s March 30, 2015 recouping decision was started by the National Fiscal Administration Agency. Currently, Romania still has to recoup about 380 million lei from Ioan and Viorel Micula and from eight other companies identified in the European Commission’s Decision,” reads the release.