Securities Trickery Road Does Not Lead to EU

ZLRP (Association of Expropriated Owners) IS NOT LYING.

By Borut Prah

Here is a summary of my case, especially for the ignorants who send e-mail about black shirts, and throw other epitheta around freely. They need education. Else, the high tech is wasted on them. They would still be writing with the socialistic ink (i.e., boiled beet juice - I remember it well from my Tito-Stalin school days) had we not spent last forty years inventing computers; I, in Silicon Valley, while my peers wasted their years in making Marxism work in Slovenia. I hope the background information that follows will enlighten most.

My father owned a small textile factory in Kranj which he built from two old looms to a few hundred, in ten years. He was one of the best employers in the area; even Franc Leskosek, Tito's minister for industry acknowledged this. He remembered my father's generosity to him years before he came to power.

We had no summer villas, no yachts or horses. Just about all profits went into the new spinning mill which opened just before the start of the World War II. It gave good steady income to another few dozen families

As soon as they arrived in 1941, Nazi occupators demanded that the factory conducts all business in German. My father refused, and posted a notice on the factory gate stating that this is a Slovenian factory and the business here will be conducted in Slovenian language. Soon after he was arrested and taken as hostage to Begunje jail. Some months later, by virtue of being born in Trieste, he was transferred to Italian-controlled territory.

My mother with three small children was expelled. We followed him into the Italian territory. We always considered ourselves lucky; we lost everything but our lives and two suitcases, although my father sometimes lamented not spending the profits on the Riviera vacations instead of on the spinning mill.

In 1945 we returned to an empty house and a factory which was partially dismantled by Germans to make airplane parts. One year later, the factory was again making textiles - but at home, first things first, we still slept on the second-hand hospital beds my parents bought as refugees in 1941. With the factory fully operational, for Christmas1946 my father promised us new beds although there was enough money there to buy a 60-foot yacht and berth it in Monaco, if one could get there. Cash was abundant because there was almost nothing to buy with it. The demand for textiles was causing the factory to work around the clock.

But - we did not get the new beds. On December 5, 1946, a government official and two men with submachine guns appeared at my father's office and took over the factory in the name of the people. According to the law of nationalization, signed by Tito, the property will be reimbursed for and the owner keeps all net liquid assets.

Tito never kept his word, nor did his heirs; so far, we are still waiting for the reimbursement and the cash.

Forty-five years later, the new Slovenian democratic government tried to correct the problem by passing the law of denationalization. It had to. Respect for the private property is one of the fundamental human rights.The Soviet Union was no longer there to fund the violators. And finally there were some honest people in the government.

But Slovenian spring did not last long. When the communists regained control of the Slovenian government in 1993, they found the way to stay in power by simply slowing down the implementation of the Act of denationalization. Thus, they de facto retained the control of the industry, the source of money and in some cases simply made themselves shareholders.

So today, we come down to this issue, which can best be illustrated in this simplistic and personal way:

What would you say if I owed you one thousand dollars and everytime you asked me to pay them back I would say, I will, I will.

You would say WHEN?

And I would again say, I will, I will.

Well, the Government has had my property for fifty (50!) years! In an attempt to honor human rights, a prerequisite for a ticket to the European Union, five years ago the Parliament passed a law that the property be returned.


With the current representatives of the original thieves,we reached an agreement on the current value of the nationalized assets. This amount, hardly favorable to me, was to be the basis for the number of shares I would get in the privatized company. It was signed by all parties, almost three years ago, and approved by the authorities.

As of today, I haven't seen a single cent, or a stock certificate or a bond yet. I can even prove a securities trickery, a one million $ theft that Mafia would be proud of, endorsed by the Slovenian Government. I protested it eight months ago and am still waiting for a reply!

I guess the governmment officials cannot tell right from wrong. But in a Comintern-style response they accused ZLRP of evil deeds and lies?

Evil? Lies? Not by ZLRP, I can assure you.

Epilogue, October 7, 1997

Today, the Slovenian Constitutional Court ruled 6 to 1 on two counts and 7 to 0 on one count that the Agency for Privatization violated the Consitution on all counts in selling shares to the former owners at 35% higher price than to everybody else. (Note that the employees already receive 50% discount to purchase shares).

The Director of the Agency for Privatization lost her job -- but nothing else has happened so far. The marxist management is still in control of my property so that they can finance Kucan's re-election for President and other "free" elections.