Croatia Left with 50 Days to Use 140 Million from EU Funds

Katarina Anđelković

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May 10, 2023 – Vice president of the Government and Minister of Spatial Planning, Construction, and State Property Branko Bacic stated on Wednesday, in the context of the dynamics of reconstruction after the earthquake and the use of EU funds, that another 140 million euros should be used in the next 50 days.

“The deadline for using the funds for the Zagreb and Petrinja earthquake reconstruction is practically the same, so by June 30, we have to use the funds in the total amount of one billion and three million euros. As of today, we have reached 863 million euros, so there are still 140 million euros left to use in the next 50 days,” Bačić said on Croatian Radio’s show A, sada Vlada.

Problems caused by inadequate laws

He assumes, as he said, that at this pace the EU funds could be used even before the deadline. “In the less than four months that I have been at the head of the Ministry, we have achieved a dynamic in which we realize projects on a daily level of around 4.5 million euros. Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, we will use the full amount from the Reconstruction Fund for the Petrinja earthquake,” he predicts.

Bačić also listed the problems his ministry is facing due to inadequate laws.

“What I have witnessed in the past four months is that in Zagreb, in the Ministry or the Government, we spend time deciding on managing small parcels worth around 1,000-2,000 euros, which are necessary to realize a project. There are many situations in which it is unnecessary that the center of Zagreb decides on parcels in the area of, for example, Dubrovnik-Neretva County,” he points out.

“We inherited 50,000 pending cases”

In this sense, he says, he announced the draft of the new law on real estate management. “As a ministry, we are not sufficiently educated to manage the financial assets of the Republic of Croatia. We are primarily architects, engineers, and surveyors. Therefore, we have shared financial management with the Ministry of Finance,” he continued.

He added that many unresolved cases are hindering the economic growth of the Republic of Croatia. “In the Ministry, we inherited 50,000 unresolved cases. That number is a terrible brake on the economic development of the Republic of Croatia. It is important that it works and permeates,” he asserted.

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