First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko on Thursday visited the Impol-TLM factory in the central coastal town of Sibenik which was leased to the Slovenian Impol company and said that the most important thing was that production be relaunched.

"I'm glad that production will be stepped up in phases and we will help because our interest is clear. I hope that over the next two or three months there will be 400-500 people employed," Karamarko said.

Asked by reporters to comment on reports by the leader of the Croatian Association of Unions (HURS), Ozren Matijasevic, about the embezzlement of about 30 million euro from TLM in the period 2009 - 2014, Karamarko said that if suspicion existed, "he should press charges", however, the reports relate to the period before the incumbent government took office.

"We want to see TLM launching production as soon as possible. Everything cannot be ideal straight away but I think that this is the best solution," Karamarko said.

A member of Impol's management board, Tomaz Smoler, said that production in the Sibenik-based light metal factory could begin in April. Currently there are 210 workers employed and in the future there will be 350 - 400, he said, adding that over the next three to five years TLM should be a fast growing company.

Asked to comment on TLM's position with regard to the Mostar-based Aluminij company in which TLM has shares, Smoler said that Aluminij was one of TLM's major aluminium suppliers.

"We have already established cooperation with Aluminij in Mostar and the first shipment of aluminium has already arrived. We plan to conclude a long-term agreement for the supply of aluminium and I hope cooperation will be good," Smoler said.

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