As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Galic Winery, owned by entrepreneur Josip Galic from Kutjevo, must return 10 million kuna from the Wine Envelope allocated to it through the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund for the construction of a new winery building in Kutjevo which was worth seven million euros.
The Agency for Payments in Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, based on the recommendation of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), recently issued a decision to annul the decision on the Galic Winery project approval and made a decision on the return of paid aid in the amount of 10,047,442.29 kuna, Jutarnji list writes. This is the first such case, according to the same publication.
OLAF stated that during the construction of the winery, there was malversation and abuse in the selection of contractors, ie subcontractors. In this particular case, one of the subcontractors of construction work on the wine cellar was the company Presoflex owned by Ina Galic, the child of Josip Galic.
It should be noted that the Galic Winery hired one company as a contractor, and it then hired five subcontractors, including Galic’s child’s aforementioned company, which OLAF considers a conflict of interest, explaining that ”the legislative framework prohibits users of EU funds from projects for which they received money to hire companies with which they have personal or business connections,” reports Jutarnji list.
The Galic Winery has stated that it is shocked by this decision, which they’re trying to challenge because they consider it to be illegal. The Agency said that the decision was made “based on Article 33, paragraph 2 of the Ordinance on the implementation of the measure Investments in wineries and wine marketing from the National Wine Sector Assistance Programme 2014-2018, which stipulates that the Paying Agency will request a refund if it is determined that the beneficiary has acted contrary to the provisions of the Ordinance and the rules for the use of such funds for the Investment measure, ie in case of an established irregularity,”
They also stated that during the approval of the now disputed Galic Winery project, as well as during the control of its implementation, the Agency didn’t know that a company owned by Galic’s offspring was being engaged in the project, and that the beneficiary had previously been instructed in all of the obligations based on the project approval decision.
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