State Will Continue Helping Uljanik Only When Administration Steps Down

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

Uljanik’s workers’ strike will have an important role to play in the direction of the unfolding crisis – either by means of bankruptcy or by some sort of controlled settlement.

As Marija Brnic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of August, 2018, in addition to wanting to be paid properly, the desire for the departure of Uljanik’s administration has been by far the main message taken from the strike.

However, the departure of the administration, as has been unofficially floating around, is also crucial for further action by the state in assisting with the current deadlock within the ailing Uljanik. After the session of the cabinet, ministers said that that was not even one point on Uljanik on the agenda for today, and Finance Minister Zdravko Marić openly said that the times of state aid for the burdened Pula shipyard were coming to an end. There is little room for maneuver, said Marić, and yesterday he expressed no desire to try estimating just how close Uljanik is to bankruptcy.

Marić, like the rest of the ministers, directed all of the questions towards Uljanik’s administration. Maric insisted that the Croatian Government isn’t trying to escape its role in the situation, but that the government has been aware of the state of play within the company, and the method by which it is managed. It seems now that the strike of Uljanik’s increasingly frustrated workers will obviously play a very important role in the guiding of the direction of the current crisis within the company, a crisis which can go only in two directions – bankruptcy or a controlled settlement process.

The second scenario, if it comes to that, would imply the government having to set up crisis management and coordinate business until it can be determined that the company will be restructured, much like what occurred with Agrokor. Such a solution would have to be thoroughly communicated about with the European Commission, given that state aid to Uljanik (95 million euro) was done under its supervision and any deviations from the framework agreed under the European Commission’s decision taken more than half a year ago would imply a violation.

The board, made up of President Gianni Rossand and Denis Rabar, are asking for the Croatian Government to not bother waiting around for the the European Commission’s approval for their restructuring program, but to begin immediately with putting it into practice and going forth with its eventual realisation. Some individual ministers, when discussing the topic in informal conversation, laughed in disbelief.

Uljanik’s employees want to seek the departure of the management. The management of course responded with the fact that their request for them to step down is unacceptable.

An assembly of Uljanik’s shareholders will be convened for August the 31st, during which, among other things, the state is expected to appoint its two members.


Click here for the original article by Marija Brnic for Poslovni Dnevnik


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