ZAGREB, March 15, 2019 – A decision on the ailing Uljanik Group will be partly political, but primarily economic and financial in nature, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Friday after devastating financial reports about the group prompted him to wonder about the current importance of the shipbuilding industry for Croatia.
“There is a political element in the decision making in the whole process, however, I primarily see it as an economic and financial decision, considering that we have so far paid 3.1 billion kuna through enforced guarantees, and you can add all that has been paid for the entire shipbuilding industry in the past 25 years … The amount climbs to 35 billion kuna. I ask myself and you what importance the shipbuilding industry can then have,” Marić said.
Asked by the press while coming to a government meeting when an analysis of Uljanik’s business might be unveiled, Marić said that some segments of the analysis would be presented today and some next week. He recalled that 2.45 billion kuna was allocated to pay Uljanik’s enforced guarantees in 2018.
Unfortunately, more guarantees will be enforced this year. First, there was mention of 2.8 billion kuna, and now 3.1 billion kuna, Marić said, adding that the amount could rise further.
Economy Minister Darko Horvat told reporters while coming to the government meeting that claims that an additional seven billion kuna would be necessary for overhauling the Uljanik Group is “a spin”.
He confirmed that the total cost for assistance in overhauling the group was seven billion kuna, and that the government had already paid 3.1 billion of that amount.
More news on the Uljanik shipyard can be found in the Business section.