NHS-Krešimir Sever.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Denis CERIĆ / mm

Independent Croatian Trade Unions (NHS) leader Kresimir Sever called on Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic on Friday to stop the sale of eight companies that had been removed from the list of strategic companies, demanding that the authority of the government to draw up a list of companies of special national interest be transferred to parliament.

Sever urged the prime minister in a letter to stop the already launched processes for the preparation of the eight companies for sale and organise a broad public consultation on the matter, which was then to be followed by a debate in parliament.

Sever said that those companies had a high strategic value and represented public property that had been created by generations, adding that such an important decision should not have been made by telephone, "just to fill the black hole in the budget."

During a conference call last Wednesday, the government decided to take eight companies off the list of enterprises regarded as being of strategic and special interest to the state. The companies in question are: the Podravka food company, ACI marina operator, Koncar Electrical Industries, Petrokemija fertiliser maker, Croatia Airlines, Luka Rijeka (Port of Rijeka), Croatia Banka and the Croatia Osiguranje insurance company.

On Thursday, Oreskovic said that the government would not sell all the companies. 

The government plans to sell its 25% stake in Koncar Electrical Industries for EUR 46 million, its stake in the Suncani Hvar hotel company for about EUR 17 million and its 30% stake in the Croatia Osiguranje insurance company.

"That's the 200 million euros I have mentioned before. We have no intention of selling the other companies," Oreskovic told a press conference before a Cabinet meeting.

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