ZAGREB, March 29, 2019 – Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) leader Boris Miletić on Thursday criticised the government’s decision not to endorse the proposed plan for restructuring the ailing Uljanik Group, and insisted that inaction by the Andrej Plenković cabinet was an attempt to destabilise Istria, which, Miletic says, is “the only Croatian region that has managed to resist the pernicious influence of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).”
Miletić said in Pula that the government’s indecisiveness and lack of action regarding the Uljanik Group “is an attempt to economically destabilise Istria.”
He claimed that the government postponed the beginning of today’s meeting, while waiting for a decision of the Rijeka-based Commercial Court on whether there were conditions for initiating bankruptcy proceedings for the Uljanik Group.
Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Davor Bernardić today called for “halting the bankruptcy of Uljanik Group.”
He accused the current HDZ-led government of having no idea on how to address the problems in the Uljanik and 3 Maj docks.
Another opposition politician, Ivan Sinčić of the Živi Zid party accused Prime Minister Plenković of being incapable of salvaging the national shipbuilding industry.
Commenting on the government’s decision not to accept the proposed overhaul plan which might cause financial exposure, Plenković today recalled that in the period between 1992 and 2017 a total of 31.7 billion kuna was spent on bailing out the shipyards or in the form of state subsidies.
Of that amount 4.3 billion kuna went to the Pula-based Uljanik dock and 9 billion kuna was earmarked for the 3. Maj shipyard in Rijeka or a total of 13.3 billion kuna for the Uljanik Group. “That reflects the great solidarity of all Croatian citizens with the shipbuilding industry overall and in particular with Pula and Rijeka,” Plenković underscored.
According to data he presented the state’s total exposure to the Uljanik Group on 15 October 2018 amounted to 4.3 billion kuna and because the group could not settle its dues, contracts were cancelled and a total of 3.1 billion kuna was paid out of the state budget on March 11 for enforced state guarantees.
“All these payments were made with the consent and coordination of the State Prosecutor’s Office. All those agreements were once again reviewed and endorsed. Once the state issues a guarantee of that kind, in this case guarantees for ships, there is no option than to settle those dues,” the prime minister said.
He underscored that the government was working on the issue of Croatia’s shipbuilding, it analyses the crisis in Uljanik and all the aspects involved – political, economic, financial, social, regional, structural.
The government is supposed to make a decision that is “responsible and defensible in all aspects,” Plenković said.
More news on Uljanik can be found in the Business section.