The five counties want the government to establish the Council for Central and Northern Croatia and implement a number of projects.
Prefects of five counties from northern Croatia presented to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković their plan to establish the Council for Central and Northwest Croatia, believing that would help them in further development of these counties with 600,000 inhabitants, and especially in withdrawing money from EU funds for capital investments, reports Večernji List on December 4, 2017.
The prefects also want to launch projects worth billions of kunas. In Bjelovar-Bilogora County, the priority is the completion of the construction of a highway from Zagreb to Bjelovar, which has so far been built to Farkaševac. Prefect Damir Bajs expects that the construction of the remaining 17 kilometres to Bjelovar will start during the term of this government.
The second project is to inaugurate railway traffic on the newly built Sveti Ivan Žabno-Gradec line, the first new railway line constructed in Croatia after 50 years, which should be completed by spring. However, there are rumours that trains will not use it due to works on the Dugo Selo-Križevci section, so Bajs expects the government to intervene. He also wants help in building 12 new schools, worth 400 million kunas. “We expect the state to take over its part of the obligations or to make the construction of schools possible with a different business model,” said Bajs.
Međimurje County has nominated a series of projects in health, education, transport, environmental protection and cultural heritage sectors. Many have already been approved and will be financed mainly from the EU funds, so the primary demand from the government is to increase wages of workers by relieving entrepreneurs of various administrative costs and taxes.
The wage increase issue is essential for Varaždin County Prefect Radimir Čačić as well, who asked the government to support strategic projects, such as the fast railway line from Čakovec and Varaždin through Lepoglava to Zagreb, worth about 100 million euros, the Zagorje highway and the Podravina highway. He also asked for support for the central surgery block at the Varaždin General Hospital, worth 40 million euros. Čačić also pushed for the project of the Science Centre on the Drava River, which would include laboratories, a research park and a planetarium. The investment would amount to 80 million euros.
Koprivnica-Križevci County is interested in the highway project which would connect Križevci to Koprivnica, as well as for the Northwest Croatia Waste Management Centre Piškornica, which is valued at 760 million kunas. According to Prefect Darko Koren, the project meets all the conditions for co-financing from the EU cohesion fund.
Krapina-Zagorje County is seeking support for the construction of the Mokrice-Marija Bistrica-Popovec highway, worth 445 million kunas, the reconstruction and electrification of the Zabok-Krapina-Đurmanec-state border railway line, worth 643 million kunas, the development of a competence centre for catering and tourism sectors and centres of excellence for health and agriculture, worth about 150 million kunas, and the sewage and wastewater treatment system in the county worth 692 million euros.
The next meeting of the five prefects will take place in February.
Translated from Večernji List.