Croatia Bought Unusable Building in Brussels for 11.5 Million Euros

Total Croatia News

The building was bought in 2013, but is still not being used.

For the purposes of the Croatian delegation at the institutions of the European Union and the Croatian Embassy in Belgium, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs bought in March 2013 a building in Brussels. The building covers over 4,000 square metres and was paid about 11.5 million euros or 88 million kuna, reports Večernji List on August 11, 2016.

Since the building was unfinished at the time, in June 2013 a preliminary design for reconstruction was prepared, according to which it was necessary to invest another 21 million kuna in the building. However, the works on the building have still not been completed.

In fact, the building is still not in use because the interior is far from finished, and that means that the Croatian diplomatic missions in Brussels are still located at other premises for which lease is being paid the whole time. Two years after the purchase of the building (in February 2015), a more detailed design and cost estimate were done. According to them, it turned out that the costs of reconstruction would be as much as 40 million kuna, or almost twice as much as the original plan.

In February this year, when the State Audit Office audited the whole project, the construction and planning permission has still not been obtained. In addition, from the beginning of 2013 until the end of 2015, for services of lawyers and public notaries, inspection services, and utility bills more than 1.2 million kuna were paid from the state budget. State auditors have recently audited the books of the Foreign Ministry and have determined that, before the building was bought, the study of whether the investment in the unfinished building was feasible has not been done.

These decisions were made by the government and Ministry at the time of Foreign Minister Vesna Pusić. The decision what will happen with the ill-fated building in Brussels will be made by the new government after the September’s elections.


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