Most Ruling Coalition Partners Support Uljanik Bankruptcy

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 20, 2019) – The majority of political parties making up the ruling coalition with the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said on Wednesday, ahead of a meeting focusing on the Uljanik group, that bankruptcy was a better solution than restructuring.

Croatian People’s Party (HNS) leader Ivan Vrdoljak said that he wanted to see concrete figures as to what both bankruptcy and restructuring would mean for citizens as well as what the continuation of production would bring and whether it was possible in a bankruptcy.

Darinko Kosor of the Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS) warned that it was the government and not the coalition that would decide between bankruptcy and restructuring while the coalition partners could express their opinions.

Kosor said that he would ask where the 7-8 billion kuna siphoned out of Uljanik over the past 10 years had ended up, who was responsible for that and what the Interior Ministry had done in that regard.

Kosor also wondered who would pay a further 5-6 billion kuna which he believes is the cost of restructuring and whether that money has been secured in the budget and who will pay further guarantees for the construction of ships.

Asked whether he supported the option of bankruptcy, he said that “figures speak for themselves.”

Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbović, who is a member of the Reformists, said that he favoured bankruptcy, based on the lessons learnt from the collapse of the Sisak ironworks and refinery and of the Petrinja-based Gavrilović meat industry, which had resulted in the loss of 30,000 jobs.

Kazimir Varga of Milan Bandić’s Work and Solidarity Party and independent MP Ivan Mišić said that bankruptcy was the best option while Italian minority MP Furio Radin said that he had always advocated restructuring.

Branko Hrg of the Christian Democrats, too, said that bankruptcy was the only option for him.

According to Hrg, 15.5 billion kuna had been “pumped into the two shipyards (Uljanik and 3. Maj) and no one has answered for that.”

The ministers of economy and finance, Darko Horvat and Zdravko Marić respectively, have different opinions on the fate of the Uljanik group.

Horvat said that initially numbers would show that bankruptcy was cheaper but that, in the long run, this was not certain.

Marić said taxpayers had the right to see how much had been paid for Uljanik so far and how much more had to be paid. “Things are very serious. We have paid hefty amounts so far. A few days ago, I said 3.1 billion kuna had been paid in enforced guarantees so far for the building of mainly non-existent ships,” Marić said.

“The financial aspect has to certainly be taken into account because it is not small. I’m not just looking at the financial aspect but at the bigger picture – the significance, value and importance of the shipbuilding industry. We are all saying that that is a strategic branch, the statistical bureau’s figures and some other figures shed a different light and that all has to be taken into account,” Marić said.

More news about Uljanik can be found in the Business section.


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