EU Forbids Government to Pay Uljanik Salaries

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, September 19, 2018 – Economy Minister Darko Horvat said on Wednesday the European Commission’s first comments on a restructuring programme for the Uljanik shipyard had arrived and that they doubted the strategic partner’s financial capability and warned about the state’s too big involvement.

Responding to questions from the press, Horvat said the comments arrived on Tuesday and were forwarded to the Uljanik management, the strategic partner and the consultants. Their response is expected in the next few days, he added. He said the comments were identical to those of the economy and finance ministries to the first draft restructuring programme three months ago.

Asked how many state guarantees given for the shipyard were now due, Horvat said the only bank which had enforced state collateral in the amount of 48 million euro was Splitska Banka and that it was paid. The Croatian Postal Bank (HPB) has not opted for that and we will see next week what will happen with the ships worth 70 million euro whose construction has been cancelled, he said. The government issued collateral for a 48 million euro loan which HPB gave Uljanik in January.

Asked how much the state guarantees issued for the Pula-based Uljanik could cost the state budget, Horvat said attempts were being made to assure clients whose ships were at a high stage of completion at either Uljanik or the Rijeka-based 3. Maj dock to let them be completed. “If we manage to do that, the pressure on the state budget will be halved, perhaps to about one billion kuna,” he added.

Asked if the collection of money for September’s wages in the Uljanik shipbuilding group had started, Horvat said “not yet.” “Management must provide wages for workers. At this time, the payment of salaries from the state budget is not possible. The European Commission doesn’t allow it. Which model we will consider and perhaps have a chance to pay them, at least three minimum wages, we will know next week.”

Asked by the Zagreb Stock Exchange today about the possibility of the 3. Maj dock separating from the Uljanik Group, Uljanik and 3. Maj said the restructuring model for Uljanik being analysed by the European Commission referred only to that dock and not to the other companies in the Group.

The possible separation of 3. Maj in the long term organisation strategy of the Uljanik Group and the interest of certain investors have already been announced, but at this time no procedures envisaged by law for separating the 3. Maj shipyard have been launched, the two docks said. No formal step in that regard will be taken before the Uljanik restructuring programme is adopted, they added.

“The Restructuring Programme of Uljanik Brodogradiliste d.d. which is being currently examined by the European Commission refers exclusively to the company Uljanik Brodogradiliste d.d., and is not directly related to other companies of Uljanik Group,” reads the reply to the enquiry of Zagreb Stock Exchange.

“The possible separation of 3.Maj in the long-term organisational strategy of the Group as well as the interest of certain investors has been previously expressed but at present no legal procedure for separation of 3. Maj Brodogradiliste d.d. has been initiated.
No formal measures regarding that subject will be taken prior to the adoption of the restructuring programe of Uljanik Brodogradiliste d.d., which was already previously mentioned in statements issued by the Management Board of Uljanik d.d.”


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