Megaproject in Istria Worth 1.5 Billion Kuna on Brink of Collapse

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Why did plans fail, despite the interest of powerful investors?

Big plans around the uninhabited island Veliki Brijun, whose hotels and villas should have been undertaken by some of the world’s most famous hotels brands, have obviously failed, reports Jutarnji List on March 22, 2017. Although big and well-known investors and brands such as One & Only, Ritz Carlton and Astoria generally showed interest, it seems that the current Government does not want to do anything, even though the former Government initiated the procedure and spent millions on the development of projects. Jutarnji list unofficially found out that current Minister of Environment and Energy Slaven Dobrović did not like the plan, and the project which was pushed by the previous Government, and that is very likely that everything will have to start from the beginning.

The consultant Miroslav Dragičević who was employed on the project said: “We have a contract with the Government since Zoran Milanović. That has been a consortium of six companies with us at the helm. So far, we’ve done due diligence, concept and calculations and the proposed business model. Everything was presented to ministers at the time of Zoran Milanović’s Government and all was generally accepted. Also, a decision on the change of the spatial plan of the NP Brijuni was also made, as a basis for the process of finding investors. After, that, silence and a couple of meetings with Dobrović who has no vision, no capacity for continuation of the project because the Government has once again changed”. He is also demanding a meeting with those responsible in the Government and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković. He’s also demanding responsibility for the omission to the project and even considering a lawsuit because he has a contract with the Government.

The Ministry claims that the contract with the consultant was signed in the name and on behalf of the National Park Brijuni for the first phase of the project. They argue that the concession model was not accepted. “The second phase of the project was supposed to begin under condition that the government makes a decision on accepting the model of the concession, which was not done because it was shown that to attract desirable investors property rights should be resolved and it would also be needed a new spatial plan of the NP Brijuni”, said from the Ministry.

According to the initial plans, hotels Neptun and Karmen were to renovate and expand and reach the level of five stars. Hotels Jurina and Franina were to be demolished, and in their place should have been constructed a luxury resort. There should have also been built a small elite convention center and conditions for the reception of mega yachts. The current image of Brijuni is far from this.


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