Abstract: If we are talking about the consequences of a successful restitution process, the Serbian example shows that restitution has a positive impact on public finances: it is undoubtedly confirmed that each square meter of returned property is bringing bigger, more long-term, and stable income to the central state and local authorities’ budgets. It also has an important anti-corruption, anti-monopoly effect: restitution is efficiently removing enormous incomes from the handful of privileged people, monopolists and even organized crime members.
Jews of Former Yugoslavia and Their Decline After Wars In Yugoslavia: Legal and Material Positions in Serbia, Croatia And Bosnia & Herzegovina 1991-2016
Translated Title: Jevreji Bivše Jugoslavije i Njihovo Opadanje Nakonratova u Jugoslaviji: Pravni i Imovinski Položaj u Srbiji, Hrvatskoj i Bosni i Hercegovini 1991-2016
Topics: Main Topic: Identity and Community, Jewish Community, Restitution and Reparations, Law, Finance, Economy
Abstract: Once one of the most numerous and prosperous minorities in Yugoslavia, the number of Jews declined from over 80,000 to 15,000 in the years aer WW2. is number further decreased due to migration to Israel in the ﬁrst post-war years, and further impoverishment took place because of conﬁscation and restitution of the majority of private and communal Jewish property, and enforced renouncing of Yugoslav citizenship. e ﬁrst multi-party elections in Yugoslavia brought to power nationalist elements in all republics, which was followed by civil war, and the breaking of socialist Yugoslavia. Jews of Yugoslavia found themselves on diﬀerent warring sides. Fragmentation on all confronted sides made the Jewish community even more vulnerable. A huge majority of former Warsaw Pact members aer the Berlin wall fell passed laws for restitution of property taken by the state in post WW2 period. Jews of Yugoslavia, in several new states, had promises from state oﬃ cials that their property would be restituted and errors made half a century ago would be rectiﬁed. e only case where such a promise came true was Serbia. In 2011 Serbia passed General Restitution Law concerning individuals, therefore also Jews. In 2006 Serbia passed Law on property of the religious communities that also included Jewish community and that helped restitution of the Jewish communal property. e state of Serbia is the only state in the region that passed the Jewish Lex Specialis that concerns on Jewish property with no successor but also unclaimed Jewish property in February 2016. Croatia passed a General Restitution Law in 1996, and amended it in 2002, but it only aﬀects property nationalized aer May 1945. at Law is limited to direct successors who are Croatian citizens or citizens of countries which have bilateral agreements with Croatia. Due to very high taxes, in some cases reaching 25% of property value, a lot of Jewish requests remained unsolved. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the rare European countries that did not pass such a law. Moreover, the BIH constitution declares three constituent nations: Serbs, Croats and Bosnians, while others as minorities cannot be nominated for state positions, according to chapters IV and V of the BIH constitution (Sejdić and Finci v. Bosnia and Herzegovina). is paper aims to give insight into the economic power of Jews just before the breakdown of Yugoslavia, and the current economic situation of Jewish communities in Serbia, Croatia and BIH, with a special emphasis on their economic, legal and social position in the last two decades. is restitution issue is very important for it shows how much goodwill states have for helping their local Jewish communities. e research material is obtained from local Jewish communities, periodicals, reports, interviews, conferences, scientiﬁc journals and statistical data of all three states and various Jewish organization. Facing the past, admitting and rectifying remain open issues in those countries, and they are excellent indicators of the progress achieved in the last 25 years.