tihomir orešković.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said during a visit to the eastern city of Vukovar on Thursday that an investor from the Middle East was looking for 10,000 hectares of land in the Slavonia region and that one should see if at least 5,000 hectares of farmland in Vukovar County could be secured for that investor.

"The investor is from the Middle East. I presented the proposal today so that we can see if we can define a model to consolidate farmland. That might be 5,000 hectares and not necessarily 10,000. Maybe the EU could help us with this through clusters and the government, too, with incentives, so that when the investor comes we can say: 'We are ready,'" Oreskovic told reporters after meeting local business people and representatives of county authorities.

The head of the county department for agriculture, Andrija Matic, told reporters that there was no 10,000 hectares of farmland available for sale in the county. All the available farmland is being cultivated, he said.

The meeting between Oreskovic and representatives of the local business community and authorities was the central event of Oreskovic's two-day visit to Vukovar County, during which he is also expected to visit several family farms.

Answering questions from the press, Oreskovic also said that he enjoyed the support of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), the Bridge party and the HDZ-led Patriotic Coalition, and that he did not consider HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko's Facebook post as a threat that he would be prime minister as long as the HDZ supported him.

"My position has been the same from the first day. I am here for the Croatian people and that is why I am here today as well. I will be somewhere else tomorrow to see how we can help. We are one team and as a team we have the same goals," Oreskovic said. 

He was also asked why the government had extended the terms of the INA oil company's management from the time of the previous, SDP-led government.

He said that a new INA supervisory board had to be formed first, after which a new management board would be appointed in the shortest time possible.

"And that's all there is to it. Nothing has changed, we just sent out a message of stability until the process of forming a new Supervisory Board is launched," the PM said.

Earlier in the day, Oreskovic visited the Homeland War Memorial Cemetery and the mass grave site at Ovcara outside Vukovar, where he laid a wreath and lit a candle. He also visited the Vukovar Hospital and met with residents of Vukovar in the city centre.

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