ZAGREB, April 6 Croatia's lawmakers adopted on
Thursday an emergency law aimed at protecting the economy from
big company failures after the country's largest private firm
Agrokor piled up large debts, leaving it struggling to pay
creditors and suppliers.
The centre-right majority approved the law, which will be
implemented if Agrokor fails to reach a deal with
banks and suppliers on a cash injection and restructuring. The
law was criticised by opposition politicians who said it would
threaten small suppliers and the state budget.
Under the law, devised to deal with potential financial
troubles in a company with at least 5,000 employees and debt of
1 billion euros ($1.07 billion), the state will be able to
appoint an executive to steer a restructuring process at the
request of a debtor or at creditors' request with the company's
The law envisages a company reaching a restructuring deal
within 15 months.
Agrokor is the biggest food producer and retailer in the
Balkans with some 60,000 employees. It accumulated debts of
about 45 billion kuna ($6.43 billion), or six times its equity,
as it expanded rapidly, notably in Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and
(Reporting by Igor Ilic; editing by Susan Thomas)