Sućuraj Fails to Adopt Municipal Budget Due to Dispute with Norwegian Company

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More problems in Sucuraj on Hvar.

The Municipality of Sućuraj is the only local government unit on the island of Hvar which has not been passed a budget for 2016, planned in the amount of 6.064 million kuna. At the last session of the Municipal Council, the budget proposal was endorsed by three councillors – Vjeran Bjelovučić, Ante Franičević and Ivanka Mihaljević (HDZ), while their colleagues Ivica Vujnović (SDP) and Ivan Vitali (independent councillor elected on the SDP candidate list) were against, and Mate Jeličić (HNS) abstained. Councillor Ivan Radovančić (SDP) was absent, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on January 6, 2016.

“In the proposed budget, we have planned all the investments, however, SDP councillors have not supported it, without proposing a single amendment. The only criticism to the budget was a deficit in the amount of 2.8 million kuna, which relates to the planned income from “PPK Nekretnine”, which has to pay the amount to the municipality according to contracts for the land which the former municipal authorities sold them and which got us into trouble – everything will be decided by courts. If this amount, as a projected revenue, was not included in the budget, they would have said that I have given up on the dispute. According to the Law on Budgets, the amount must be included every year until the dispute is over”, said Municipal Mayor Ivan Slavić (HDZ).

However, councillor Jeličić, whose voice could had been crucial, does not agree with the mayor. He claims that the municipality sold to the company, which represents Norwegian investors, the land owned by the state, and that on that basis it should not expect “PPK Nekretnine” to pay anything, especially given the ruling by the County Court and the proposal of a recent audit that the parties should try to reach a compromise solution to the dispute.

After the budget failed, the head of the local government department Leonard Ćurin was given an assignment to prepare the Decision on Temporary Financing for the period from 1 January to 31 March 2016, which was adopted unanimously and which meant there would be no early local elections.

“The reasons for not supporting the budget are certainly deeper, they lie with some other stakeholders and influences, and time will show what it is. But, the crucial issue is that according to temporary financing decision, I as the mayor may not assume new financial obligations, so it is certain that this will delay all the investments. This situation will not necessarily lead to early local elections, but we are very close to that possibility”, says Slavić.

“I could even say that, in this case, I do not agree with the Law on Local Self-Government, since it is possible that, against the will of the voters who have elected a mayor, there can always be councillors who want to deliberately reject the budget without an explanation, which is, unfortunately, what is happening in many local government units”, said Slavić after the session.

“New elections are always an unnecessary expense”, added Slavić who believes that the new budget proposal will still be adopted, because he will do anything to get a vote on it as soon as possible in order to proceed with the development of the municipality.


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