Reconstruction is nearing completion of houses hit by disastrous floods two years ago in the Sava Basin region when the river embankment gave way and the river flooded the nearby villages and so far 2,000 houses have been reconstructed, a round table discussion heard on Tuesday.

"Reconstruction could have been of a higher quality and it was one of the most expensive construction projects in Croatia because the cost per square metre of reconstruction here was very expensive," Construction Minister Lovro Kuscevic said, adding that only a few houses remained to be reconstructed.

Kuscevic said that the former government had nevertheless done a good job which the incumbent government is continuing and that it would soon complete reconstruction in the area.

Asked by reporters about complaints by citizens of the quality of the reconstruction, Minister Kuscevic said that all complaints would be looked into, commenting that the number of complaints was small.

He informed that the state had paid more than HRK 60 million to citizens who wished to rebuild their homes themselves and more than 500 million kuna had been paid for organised reconstruction by the state.

"The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is investing in the reconstruction of infrastructure and has already invested more the HRK 70 million. A further HRK 120 million is required to complete this job," Kuscevic underscored.

CEO of the state water management company -- Hrvatske Vode -- Zoran Djurokovic said that HRK 115 million had been invested in rebuilding the river embankment at critical points and that this has been completed.

After the round table Minister Kuscevic and Vukovar-Srijem County Prefect Bozo Galic signed an agreement whereby enabling a state grant of more than a million kuna for the county construction and physical planning office, and the fund will be earmarked to cover the costs of issuing occupancy permits for reconstructed houses.

(EUR 1 = HRK 7.5)

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