Responsible Minister Unhappy with Withdrawal of EU Funds

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, January 22, 2018 – Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Gabrijela Žalac said on Monday she was satisfied with her ministry’s achievements in 2017, but given how much Croatia could have done and how much money it could have absorbed, she was extremely dissatisfied.

Presenting the results of her ministry’s work in 2017 at a news conference, Žalac said she was satisfied with the work in 2017, “but now we have to catch up with other EU member states given the many missed opportunities between 2014 and 2016.” She accused the previous Social Democratic Party-led government for poor results in the past.

Žalac told the press that in the 2014-2020 financial perspective, a total of 10.7 billion euro was allocated to Croatia. In 2017, 141 tenders worth a total of 2.8 billion euro were advertised within the frameworks of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI).

With this, the amount available through tenders rose to 5.6 billion euro, which makes up 52% of the total amount allocated to Croatia.

She also said that only 9% of the funds were contracted when the incumbent government stepped into office.

Žalac said the priority in 2018 was to contract at least 60% of the available allocation, adding that the year would be dominated by water and waste management projects. She added that the government expected a consensus from all parties.

When criticising previous governments, the Minister apparently forgot that the government immediately preceding this one was also led by her party and that the last non-HDZ government left power two years ago.


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