A consultant claims that Environmental Protection Minister is blocking large tourist investments.
Major investments in the tourism sector, such as granting a concession for the Veliki Brijuni island or the golf course on Srđ near Dubrovnik, are once again in the focus due to claims made by consulting firm Horwath HTL that Environmental Protection Minister Slaven Dobrović has blocked these projects, reports Glas Istre on April 5, 2017.
According to media reports, the blocked investments are worth about 11 billion kuna in total, with the Veliki Brijun project accounting for almost two billion kuna.
Minister was criticized by consultant Miroslav Dragičević from Horwath HTL, who claims that he has been waiting for a year and a half for a decision whether Veliki Brijun would be developed according to his ideas. “The minister should decide whether he wants to develop Brijun in line with what we have suggested, or would prefer a different option. If we were to decide against continuing with this project, the damage for Croatia would be around 250 million euros, which is the value of the investment for which there are already interested investors. Consultants could also demand payment of compensation for cancellation of the project”, said Dragičević to the media.
Minister Dobrović did not remain silent. “The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy, as long as I am running it, will not talk with investors and other interested parties for investments and development of the Croatian economy through newspaper reports. I will not accept that kind of pressure. Maybe that is how it was done in the past, but I will not accept such business practices. The doors of the Ministry all open to all for discussion, and laws and regulations are guidelines which will be adhered to without compromise.”
Commenting on the proposed investment on the Veliki Brijun, the Minister said that “the Ministry is not avoiding responsibility, but is respecting institutional jurisdiction. A decision about the spatial plan is the responsibility of the Ministry of Construction. In addition, I want to point out that Brijuni are not only a good opportunity to realize large profits, but also a Croatian national treasure. This treasure should be protected at all costs, and in its development we should follow solely the interests of Croatia and its future.”
“This is a complex project for which it is of crucial importance to protect resources in the right way. I will soon hold a meeting with ministers of tourism and construction, and the Croatian government, and not me personally, will make a decision which must be in the best interest of all,” said Minister Slaven Dobrović commenting on the possible concession for the island of Veliki Brijun.