Tito’s ”Galeb” Will Cost More to Repair Than Planned

Lauren Simmonds

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As Morski writes on the 5th of January, 2019, the complete overhaul of Tito’s “Galeb” ship is undoubtedly the largest projects thought up by the mayor of Rijeka, Vojko Obersnel, in the past few years. Will his critics stop him? Unlikely, but the cost might.

For years, Rijeka’s longtime mayor Vojko Obersnel has been subject to a lot of understandable criticism for his buying and desire to maintain Tito’s “Galeb”, which has cost more than a million kuna to date, but those protesting Obersnel’s to completely repair Galeb would typically shut up when told that the overhaul of Tito’s former vessel would be largely financed by European Union funds.

After the official acknowledgment that this is really true came, there were no longer any real obstacles to a tender for the job. Obersnel’s critics have mostly remained quiet, even if temporarily, and even some of the furniture from the ship has been renovated.

At the beginning of 2019, more precisely on the 3rd of January, a public tender was concluded for Galeb’s renovation, and although they hoped from the City of Rijeka that there might be at least a few bids, only one bid arrived wanting the job of bringing Tito’s ship back to life.

The City of Rijeka’s administration were likely finding it difficult to come across at least one shipyard ready to take up this truly demanding job, the cost of which is estimated at approximately 27.6 million kuna. As the Fiuman.hr portal exclusively reports from a well-informed source, the only offer came from the Viktor Lenac shipyard, but they have set the cost of the forecast twice as high as initially expected. If their offer is accepted, it will cost about 60 million kuna to breathe new life back into Tito’s Galeb.

The City of Rijeka now has two options in this situation. One of them is to secure the remaining 32 million kuna from their own sources, and the only realistic possibility for it is to take out a new loan, which must be approved by the City Council of the City of Rijeka, where Obersnel has, at least officially, no actual majority.

It’s no secret that the City of Rijeka has been living on credit for years now, and at this moment, owing primarily to poor management of the city’s budget, this amounts to as much as 277 million kuna. To briefly recall, Maribor in Slovenia was also once the proud owner of the title of European Capital of Culture, and for this reason the city almost suffered bankruptcy, and many well-informed individuals are afraid that a similar path is currently being taken by Rijeka, especially if a loan is taken out solely for the purpose of bringing Tito’s vessel into the 21st century.

Rijeka’s second option is to cancel the tender entirely, and given the huge difference between the forecasts and actual costs of the ship’s overhaul, the announcement of a new tender is not reasonable and it is questionable whether or not, should that be the case, Galeb’s overhaul would be completed by the end of 2020 as the current deadline is quite stretched.

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Click here for the original article by Zoran Zdelar for Fiuman.hr


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