Plenkovic and Zalac satisfied with progress of Slavonia project

Photo /Vijesti/2019/04 Travanj/16 travnja/Izjava/IzjavaPVRH.jpg

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Tuesday in the eastern town of Nova Gradiska, where he chaired the 8th session of the Council for Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem, that the Slavonia project was highly needed for the development of eastern Croatia, as shown by a high contracting rate.

"Today we have reached HRK 3.5 million for projects in Slavonia," Plenkovic told reporters after the Council meeting.

He said that State Assets Minister Goran Maric had presented 98 contracts, worth HRK 300 million in total, which he had signed in all five counties in the region in the last two and a half years, which should pave the way for potential economic development worth an additional HRK 2 billion.

The Council will hold its next session in Orahovica in several months' time.

The Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds and Chief Coordinator of the Council, Gabrijela Zalac, also expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem project so far. She said that Croatia now ranked "somewhere in the middle" among EU member states in terms of EU funding absorption.

Responding to a journalist's remark about the World Bank's criticism of the absorption rate, Zalac said that any such criticisms were welcome. "That's why they are here, to identify as impartial observers what we could perhaps do better," she said, adding that no one has the right to present false information and misinform the public that Croatia is bad at absorbing EU funding.

After the Council session, the government signed 18 tender agreements and calls worth a total of HRK 422.7 million with local and regional authorities. The largest project, worth HRK 275.6 million, concerns scholarships for agriculture students.

Of the total amount of HRK 422.7 million, HRK 96.2 million relates to EU grants.

PM calls Notre-Dame fire civilisational tragedy

"After yesterday's statement on my and the government's behalf, I once again express truly deep regret. Paris is a city I more than identify with. I spent five years of my life there and Notre-Dame is a symbol of Christianity, of the whole Europe. We in the government are considering how to send a message of solidarity, support, already on Thursday," he told the press in Nova Gradiska.

He is sure that many will wish to participate in rebuilding Notre-Dame. "Croatia has solidarity with the French people and we are truly sorry that something like this happened in a city which is the world's number one tourist destination, and this cathedral was one of the most visited."

Text: Hina