17 August, 2011
REVIJA D (Montenegro)
Interview with Mr. Dusan Babac, Member of the Privy Council
Author: A. Stevovic
They sold everything and bought villas on the Cote d’Azur
The adoption of the Law on the Petrovic Dynasty, and the
reaction of Nikola Petrovic, the descendant of Prince Mihailo Petrovic, has
attracted great media attention in the past months. Since this topic is almost
completely unknown to the general public, to understand it, it is necessary to
present some basic historical facts. Prince Nikola has to seek apologies from
someone, but certainly not from the Karadjordjevic Family. It would be correct
if he were paid the debt owed to his father, because he has the right to it.
However, he has no right to movable and immovable property, since the
descendants of King Nichola sold all this to the Kingdom of Serbia,, Croatia and
Slovenia, one of the successor being Montenegro - reveals in an interview for
“Review D”, Mr. Dusan Babac, a member of the Privy Council of HRH Crown Prince
When it comes to the property issue, according to Mr. Babac,
the rights of the Petrovic Dynasty and Karadjordjevic Dynasty cannot be placed
in the same basket.
- Constantly the fact that the heirs of King Nikola sold all
their movable and immovable property to the State is being bypassed. With these
funds they bought villas on the Cote d’Azur and in other locations. Prince
Nikola is not the only heir of the whole Petrovic Dynasty property but only of
Prince Michael’s share. If the principle applies that male and female
descendants have the right to inherit the property, in addition to the Petrovic
Dynasty, that could be also be the Vukotic Dynasty, Karadordjevic Dynasty, the
Romanovs, Savoy, Battenberg, who all have offspring. This means that, the money
that belonged to Princess Xenia (1945-1960), descendants that I have mentioned
before would also have a right for heritage, finds Babac.
He continues to explain that the Grand National Assembly of
Montenegro on the 16th session in Podgorica November 1918 adopted a resolution
where, among other things, it is written: “All movable and immovable assets of
the former King Nikola Petrovic Njegos and his dynasty have been confiscated for
the benefit of the people”.
According to this solution, the Ministry of Interior
submitted all the property to the management bodies of the Ministry of Finance
(Department of State property) of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians
who made a detailed inventory of the property. Part of the conclusions of the
Podgorica Assembly regarding to the confiscation of assets of the Dynasty
Petrovic – Njegos, was not taken and included in the Constitution of the Kingdom
of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, neither in the laws that were effective. This
provided the legal basis and gave the power to the Government of the Kingdom of
the serbs, Croats and Slovenes to purchase the property of the Dynasty Petrovic
- Njegoš, according to the agreement with the members of the Dynasty. That is
why the previous agreement was written and concluded with all interested
parties. The agreement prior to the enactment of a law in Parliament included
the contract for purchasing of the property, along with the agreement that money
from the sale cannot be paid immediately, but periodically, and during the
descendants lifetime, as a personal right that in the case of death of an
individual it would be extinguished in favour of the State Budget, explains the
member of the Privy Council.
And so after a two month long debate, the Parliament of
Kingdom of serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, adopted the financial law and budget
for 1927/28 on 31 March 1927, with 157 votes for and 126 votes against. Despite
protests from Croatian federalists, the amendment 180v was adopted concerning
the reimbursement of the former Montenegrin dynasty, which says among other
things: “We authorize the Ministry of Finance to pay: the former Crown Prince
Danilo and the children of former Duke Mirko, former Duke Petar, and former
Duchesses Ksenija and Vjera the total sum of 42 million dinars, partly in cash
and partly in food and lifelong endowments. For the year 1927/28, the sum will
be paid from the budget surplus, whereas in future years it will be included in
the regular annual budget expenses.
By this decision, Parliament approved through article 316 of
the Financial Law that heirs of King Nikola are to be reimbursed with 42 million
dinars from the budget for their private property, explains Dusan Babac.
-The fulfillment of mutual obligations by previous agreement,
the assets of the dynasty Petrovic - Njegos became state property. In the
Archive of Yugoslavia there is an act of consent of Prince Petar Petrovic about
his personal compensation for the purchase of the part of the property which
belonged to him, according to the previous agreement, Babac indicating.
Almost identical statements were signed by Prince Danilo and
Countess Natalia, widow of Prince Mirko, on behalf of her three sons. Princess
Xenia asked that her annuities to be paid off in one payment, as well as
inheritance of her deceased sister, Vera. This demand was fulfilled, and all
members of the former Royal House of Petrovic-Njegos received monthly payments.
The payment of the endowments was executed until 1945, after which that right
was unilaterally terminated. Within the Legacy of Dr. Pera Soc a copy of the
document from 28th August 1945 can be found, in which, among other things, it is
written: “The Embassy reported that with the decision of Ministry of Finance nr.
111 of 30th July this year payments to Prince Mihailo Petrovic, Princess Xenia
and Princess Violet are suspended. Death to Fascism - Freedom to the People.
Ambassador, Dr Ljubo Leontic.”
-Based on the decision from 1945, Prince Michael, father of
Prince Nichola, was not paid the monthly endowment of 3,000 francs from 1945
until 1986, when he died. It is 41 years in total, or 1,476,000 Swiss francs.
Prince Mihailo Petrovic Njegos, extraordinary person in many ways, carried the
legacy of the Montenegrin and Serbian dynasty. Princess Natalia, mother of
Prince Michael, was a descendant of the dynasty Obrenovic, based on which Prince
Nikola also has Serbian blood, said Dusan Babac.
Waiting for the Commission to announce
Babac points out that Crown Prince Alexander II
Karadjordjevic, does not want to enter in a discussion with Prince Nicola, about
the property of his family in Montenegro, and for that reason he avoids making
statements about this issue, until the official Commission which is working on
this subject makes a decision. Attorneys are leading a combined procedure, which
was started in 2007, because the heritage in Montenegro is not only claimed by
Crown Prince Alexander II, but by all members of the Karadjordjevic Dynasty,