Government to Give 40% of 100 Million HRK Donation for Petrinja Home Restoration

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

Copyright Marc Rowlands

As Jutarnji list/Goran Penic writes, enormous funds of more than 100 million kuna in total were paid out to the state treasury in an initiative called “Assistance for reconstruction after the earthquake” by numerous citizens and companies from across Croatia and indeed from abroad, as well as international organisations and foreign governments. As has unfortunately since been found out, it seems that it is likely that only a small part of that massive amount will be spent on Petrinja home restoration efforts, and the remaining 60 percent of the money should apparently be allocated to some other ”earthquake-related” purposes.

Jutarnji list is in possession of a proposal for a decision prepared for the Croatian Government by the Ministry of Finance, which defines how the money collected through donations will be distributed. According to the proposal, 40 percent of the money, or about 40 million kuna, would go to the Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing, for the removal of now destroyed family houses and for the construction of their replacements.

Up to 20 percent of the donated money, equal to about 20 million kuna, would go to the account of the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) to cover the payment of the costs of individuals and legal entities which were mobilised by order of the National Civil Protection Directorate/Headquarters.

These include companies that set up tents, for example, as well as the transport companies that transported mobile homes, construction companies that worked on repairing chimneys and roofs or for hired cranes. On top of that, the state-owned company Pleter will more than likely be in for a cut. Pleter was engaged in preparing food for the victims in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake after it had been being done for days anyway by good-hearted volunteers, as well the owners and employees of famous Croatian restaurants who had already faced huge financial issues due to having to be closed during the pandemic.

Citizens and companies, in addition to money intended for Petrinja home restoration and the covering of the costs of mobiliaation, seem to have donated money for commodity stocks without even being aware of it. As such, 10 million kuna, or up to 10 percent of the donated money, should be paid to the Ministry of the Economy, more precisely to the Directorate for Commodity Stocks to cover the costs of purchasing goods in accordance with the decisions of the National Civil Protection Headquarters.

It should be recalled that it was the Commodity Stocks that were most criticised following the earthquake in central Croatia back in December 2020 for delays in the delivery of aid, as living containers and tents ended up arriving from some of the most remote places in Europe rather than from commodity reserves.

The Ministry of Labour should not be left without any money either. They could allegedly get their hands on as much as 15 million kuna for the reconstruction of buildings that were damaged in the earthquake. Specifically, up to 15 percent of the donated funds would be spent on the construction/reconstruction and equipping of institutions operating within the social welfare system. Institutions in the social welfare system are social welfare centres, homes for the elderly and infirm, homes for children, Caritas, the Red Cross, foster families and the like.

According to reports, three buildings operating within the social welfare system were completely destroyed in the earthquake, and two are temporarily unusable, including homes for the elderly and infirm in Petrinja and Sisak. According to this decision, the Ministry of Agriculture should receive 15 percent of the funds, ie 15 million kuna for support to agricultural producers, which includes measures for preventive vaccination and the treatment of animals in the area.

Jutarnji list asked the Ministry of Finance to clarify this decision, but they didn’t answer their specific inquiry, but simply said that the Croatian Government would soon make a decision on the redistribution of funds.

“The Croatian Government opened an official account of the State Treasury for donations of funds in the action ”Assistance for reconstruction after the earthquake”. By the 22nd of February 2021, 100.1 million kuna had been paid into this account (this is preliminary data). These funds will be used according to the decision of the Government, which should be made soon. To date, payments have been made from the state budget, ie redistributions within the users of the state budget,” the Ministry of Finance said in its response to Jutarnji’s query.

The Government claims that this was one of the proposals, that more than 100 million kuna was collected, but that the distribution model, which is being presented to the Government today, will still be different in the end.

For more on Petrinja home restoration, donations and the Petrinja earthquake in general, follow our dedicated section.


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