PM: Calls for Reporting Quake Damage to Public Buildings This Week

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Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

He was speaking to the press after a meeting of the interdepartmental working group monitoring the execution of EU Solidarity Fund grants earmarked for post-earthquake reconstruction.

The ministries of culture, science and education, and health as well as the City of Zagreb have prepared the public calls, which will be verified by the Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets Ministry in the next two days.

“They will be advertised this week so that concrete applications for documentation can be prepared for projects and the final absorption of the €683 million at our disposal,” said Plenković.

The calls pertain to damage sustained by cultural heritage buildings and, in the City of Zagreb, to the road and water-supply infrastructure, schools and hospitals.

The same will apply to Krapina-Zagorje and Zagreb counties, Plenković said, adding that the public calls would not pertain to damage caused by the 29 December earthquake that struck central Croatia.

He said “a new damage estimate is being done” for Sisak-Moslavina, Karlovac and Zagreb counties following the December quake. “A new application will be made and there will be new funds.”

EU funds available until June 2020

Plenković said Croatia was not late in absorbing EU funds and that he hoped “there will be that many applications that the funds will be overbooked.”

“€683 million certainly isn’t enough for all the buildings and projects that will be submitted and it is the job of the administration and all those who are participating to spend the money,” he said, adding that he was confident all the funds at Croatia’s disposal until June 2022 would be absorbed.

“I as prime minister issue orders that all done be done. And we will make sure that it is.”

As for the people complaining they have been waiting for post-quake reconstruction for ten months now, Plenković said he did not think reconstruction was late.

“I think we put everything into legislative frameworks as should be, all procedures and institutions. We have always said the process will take a long time. A ten-second earthquake is a minimum ten years of reconstruction… Everything must be in line with the rules and transparent.”

Plenković said the Construction Ministry had drawn up, in cooperation with other departments, a sort of guide to simplify the procedure for applying for reconstruction.

He said more than HRK 74 million had been paid to date into a fund for helping the City of Petrinja after the December earthquake. “The Finance Ministry and the Construction Ministry have the job of regulating that so that spending that money is useful, quick, transparent and effective for those who need it the most.”


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