Minister rules out privatisation of motorways for time being

Maritime Affairs, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic on Friday announced that a draft study on operational restructuring of Hrvatske Autoceste (HAC), the state-run motorway operator, would be completed by the end of June and underscored that the operator would not be privatised for the time being.

By the end of June, a draft study of the operating restructuring will be completed which comprehends the possibility of introducing a new, contact-less payment system, a maintenance system and everything else that is needed to streamline HAC so that things take a turn for the better, Butkovic told reporters.

We have launched talks with the World Bank and these are well underway and by the end of the year they have to be completed so that we can re-schedule existing unfavourable loans of around 1.8 billion euro and ensure a more favourable arrangement with the World Bank, Butkovic said, adding that "at the moment there was absolutely no talk of privatisation."

As far as a loan of 250 million euro with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is concerned, Butkovic said that that loan was agreed to by the previous government however, it was not realised.

"Seeing that we've had no time to renegotiate it, this government has adopted the same decision so that we can absorb 200 million euro. There is no consultant involved, nor are we concerning ourselves with privatisation," Butkovic said, commenting on the fact that the loan with the EBRD included the costs of consultants for the possible privatisation of the motorways.

He added that the decision for the 250 million euro loan, of which 200 million euro would be earmarked to re-schedule current dues and 50 million euro would be invested in restructuring HAC, had been put forward to parliament.

"We consider it important to financially and operationally restructure HAC and we will do so," he said.

The minister also ruled out the privatisation of the CI marina operator.

Last update: Fri, 20/05/2016 - 16:49
Author: 

More from Croatia

Croatia not ready to introduce dual education

Dual education or connecting the labour market with the education sector considerably reduces youth unemployment,...

Croatia records 16.6m tourist arrivals, 90.7m nights this year

In the first 11 months of 2016, 16.6 million tourists stayed in Croatia, accounting for 90.7 million nights, up 10.2...

EC urges Slovenia and Croatia to implement joint energy projects

The European Commission (EC) has recommended that Slovenia and Croatia implement joint energy projects because their...

Croatia's new car sales up 21% in Jan-Nov

A total of 40,631 new vehicles were sold in Croatia in the period from January to the end of November 2016, which...

PBZ puts Croatia's growth at 2.7% in 2016

Privredna Banka Zagreb (PBZ) has revised upward its forecast of Croatia's economic growth for 2016 from 2.3% to 2.7...