Ukrainian refugee housing could alter pre-bankruptcy motel Plitvice saga
Mar 7, 2022 – The Plitvice Motel was making headlines for its pre-bankruptcy saga until recent events began to unfold and the facility became a quarantine ‘home’ for lorry drivers infected with the coronavirus, and now it has provided housing for Ukrainian refugees fleeing their country following the recent Russian invasion. Could these rediscovered roles work in its favor in the legal sense? May be.
As Suzana Varosanec/Poslovni Dnevnik In writing, the precise way in which the State will react to the new restructuring plan as a way out of the difficulties of the company owned by Motel Plitvice will soon be shown through the debtor’s pre-bankruptcy procedure.
Having said that, after the decision to mobilize Motel Plitvice and the company’s employees in the reception function for refugees from Ukraine (as a checkpoint), it is possible that this will become a new precedent in the typical Croatian practice of pre-bankruptcy.
This remains an open option due to the legal delays which threaten to constitute a break in the continuation of the procedure and in the context of the currently exceptional circumstances due to the aggression of Russia in Ukraine. These disastrous circumstances called for the mobilization of Motel Plitvice in a period when the financial and operational restructuring plan was being drawn up. None of the above could have been foreseen, and it turns out that these unfolding circumstances are already affecting the normal procedure and plan, as well as the debtor’s financial situation.
New ‘dices’ are being rolled in the pre-bankruptcy mosaic and they have erupted at a time when the EU and Croatia are preparing a comprehensive response to the impending exodus of refugees from Ukraine. According to crisis commissioner Janez Lenarcic, the number of Ukrainian refugees, according to UN estimates, could exceed 10 million people.
The Republic of Croatia, solving the major humanitarian crisis, should accept 35-70,000 of these people and, by activating a temporary mechanism, ensure their proper and organized reception for a longer period, which includes integration into the systems social and educational, as well as the labor market. One of the first checkpoints that was immediately activated as a transit solution is the Motel Plitvice with around 40 employees, all of whom have been made available to the state.
Croatian Autobahns (HAC) has confirmed that it has received information about the mobilization order of the Motel Plitvice to organize the accommodation of refugees from Ukraine, which, among other things, stipulates that the money for implementation is provided by the state budget for 2022.
They pointed out that, therefore, no legal activities regarding Motel Plitvice will be carried out as long as this mobilization remains in force. However, they added that after the resolution of this situation, the rest area reconstruction activities will be continued.
With HAC’s assessment of these new circumstances, the debtor can obviously hope for a break to resolve pre-bankruptcy issues in which creditors appear to be able to successfully settle on the basis of additional income. In this procedure, out of 39 million kuna in the claims of unsecured creditors (there are no secured creditors), about 33 million go to the claim of HAC and almost 4 million to the Plitvice National Park.
Time is running out despite these unprecedented circumstances as the approved deadline for the extension of the procedure expires on April 11, but according to the manager of Motel Plitvice, Hrvoje Bilic, a solution will obviously be found in extraordinary circumstances when it comes to to extend further.
“According to the agreement, a legal solution is now sought for a model that would ensure the continuation of activities for a certain period of time,” Bilic explained, adding that the workers were relieved. The head of the Croatian Tourism and Services Union, Eduard Andric, noted that the aim is to keep staff regardless of the outcome of the pre-bankruptcy proceedings.
The next step is to expect further intervention in the restructuring plan, and it has been confirmed that a very generous offer will remain on the table to settle creditors up to 60% (with an amortization proposal of 40%) in 48 installments, with a one-year grace period.
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