Croatia’s State Property Ministry has announced a tender for the lease of 15 tourist resorts on the Adriatic coast which were used by companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia during the former Yugoslavia. Now, 27 years after the collapse of Yugoslavia, the ownership issues have not yet been resolved and they are still registered as “people’s assets,” reports Jutarnji List on November 11, 2018.
Most of the tourist properties offered for lease are located in Gradac, a town near Makarska, where the former Bosnian-Herzegovinian resorts have been falling apart for decades, becoming a health hazard for both locals and tourists.
The State Property Ministry has now finally decided to solve this problem based on the new State Property Management Act. According to Article 71, “until the conclusion of an international agreement or the adoption of a special decision, the Ministry shall be authorized to offer for a multi-year lease, up to a maximum of 30 years, properties entered into land registers as owned by the Republic of Croatia or as people’s assets.”
The tender was announced according to the provisions of this law. The lease agreements with the best bidders will be concluded for the period of 30 years, and facilities must become operational and used for tourist purposes within three years. In the event that the real owner of the property is legally established during the period of 30 years, the new owner will start receiving the lease payments.
In Gradac, the list includes the former Trgovci facility (1,540 square metres, starting price 30,800 kuna a year), the Bosanka Villa (1,431 square meters, 28,620 kuna), and the Saobraćajci facility (3,500 square metres, 71,340 kuna). All these facilities are located right next to the sea and the resorts were used by the workers of the Railways of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Just 30 metres from the sea is a former tourist resort of the Union of Construction Workers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with an area of 3,793 square metres and starting price of 75,840 kuna a year, as well as two other facilities, H2O and Mostar.
Workers of the Bosnian Electric Company used to holiday in Valter Perić. Just 20 metres from the sea is the Đuro Salaj hotel on five floors. The hotel covers 6,351 square metres and the starting rent is 127,020 kuna a year. HIT Podaca is a 1,140 square-metre building just six metres from the sea. The starting annual price is 22,800 kuna.
The Bosnian Privatisation Agency has been trying to sell the Đuro Salaj and Valter Perić facilities for years, although the legal ownership issues have not been resolved. The value of Đuro Salaj is estimated at 4.2 million euro.
In Gradac, there is also a former resort of the Robna Kuća Beograd from Serbia, with an area of 3,292 square meters and the starting price of 65,840 kuna a year.
Serbian companies and towns also owned tourist resorts for their workers in Slano, Rab and Biograd. The highest lease is expected for the former Partizan holiday resort in downtown Biograd, which covers 9,314 square meters. The starting price is 186,280 kuna a year. For the former 6,859 square-metre children’s resort of the Belgrade’s Vračar municipality, the bidders will have to offer at least 137,180 kuna a year.
Although the tender is certain to draw protests from the neighbouring countries, the State Property Ministry says that Croatia is a sovereign state and that the State Property Management Act was coordinated with the State Attorney’s Office.
“We are solving the problem that nobody wanted to face all these years. These are facilities whose owners have not been established, and the users were from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. On the other hand, our neighbours have sold our property, and we are just putting it into operation because the properties as they are now are threatening the health and safety of locals and tourists,” says the State Property Ministry.
“I am exceptionally happy because I think this is the only possible solution at the moment. Although we constantly hear allegations from Bosnia and Herzegovina that their assets are being stolen, the facilities have been falling apart all these years and they are now dangerous for citizens,” said Gradac Mayor Matko Burić (SDP).
For more on Makarska and surrounding areas, click here.
Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Goran Penić).