The story

The state of Montenegro has a debt of 67,5 million euro, which corresponds to 6 historical palaces, 25 buildings located in the historical old town of Ulcinj, 70.000 sqm. land located among Kotor, Budva, Petrovac, Cetinje and Ulcinj, 22 surviving ships that belonged to Zetska Shipping Company and two confiscated enterprises, the Serbo-Albanian Bank and Zetska Plovidba Shipping Company.

Anastasija Gregovic

Anastasija Gregović Zuber

The creditors are three brothers, respectively a US citizen, an Italian citizen and a Montenegrin citizen, sons of Anastasija Gregovic and Lale Zuber, who’s real estates and businesses in Montenegro where expropriated or nationalized by the communist regime between 1946 and 1948.

In 1966 the Zubers first made a formal request of restitution of expropriated real estates, with special reference to the properties that belonged to the family and not Lale Zuber’s enterprises.

The former Yugoslavian government answered, through the Italian embassy in Belgrade, that in order to start a restitution process a denationalization law was necessary.

In the year 2004 Montenegro passed the law of restitution and compensation.

The application for restitution was promptly made by the Zubers according to the law in reference to all properties located in the municipalities of Kotor, Budva, Cetinje and Ulcinj.

Before their expropriation the properties belonged to the enterprises of Lale N. Zuber, namely to Zetska Shipping Company (71,64% shares) and to the Srpsko-Albanska Bank (98,56% shares), or to Anastasija Gregovic.

Between 1922 and 1941 Lale Zuber’s whole business employed some thousand people among his direct staff and other workers involved.

The Zetska Shipping Company was the leading shipping company in Montenegro between the two world wars with 37 ships connecting the ports of Montenegro, the Adriatic sea, the Mediterranean sea and North America, providing transportation service to people and goods.

In reference to the restitution process the heirs of Lale Zuber and Anastasija Gregovic are assisted by lawyers Marika Novakovic and Igor Stijovic of Podgorica, Montenegro.

For further references see: a) The Historical Lexicon of Montenegro Vol.1, p. 17,18; b) the book “Od Bokeljske do Zetske Plovidbe” written by Vasilije Vasko Jankovic – iz istorije brodarstva knjiga 2009.