Plenkovic: Two bridges on Sava River and Brod river port will facilitate local development

Photo /Vijesti/2019/04 Travanj/16 travnja/Polaganje vijenaca i Dan BPŽ/Govor2.jpg

Croatia will balance out the difference between itself and  developed EU member states in about 15 years' time, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Tuesday in the eastern Croatian town of Slavonski Brod where he  announced some projects that will facilitate the development of Brod-Posavina County, including two bridges across the Sava River at Svilaj and Stara Gradiska as well as river port in Slavonski Brod.

It is important for the government and local authorities to do all they can to create conditions for economic development that will stop Croatian citizens from emigrating to developed EU member states, he added.

One of the ways the government is endeavouring to improve the situation in the eastern part of Croatia is the Council for Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem, Plenkovic said in Slavonski Brod during a ceremony on the occasion of the county's day and ahead of going to Nova Gradiska for the Council's 8th meeting.

The prime minister underscored that the government is not turning a blind eye to the problems that exist in that part of Croatia and in particular underscored the negative birth rate and emigration of citizens to other development EU member states.

"The barriers have disappeared. Today you can sit in your car and go and work in any EU member state. The fact that the average pay there is higher compels us in the government to make up for lost ground. We have fifteen years for that. Those years are essential for us. Then we will achieve our fundamental aim to live better," Plenkovic said.

Fiscal decentralisation which enables local authorities to earmark their funds for projects that they consider to be important can serve as an incentive for faster local development, Plenkovic added.

Fiscal decentralisation measures that the government has undertaken have made it possible for local authorities to have an additional HRK 2.3 billion at their disposal, Brod-Posavina County Prefect Danijel Marusic said.

Cities and municipalities in Brod-Posavina County have in that way, increased their budgets by more than HRK 100 million. That increase in local budgets is designated for development projects and the economy, the county head said.

These sums improve conditions for better absorption of EU funds 

"Projects valued at HRK 1.2 billion for Brod-Posavina County were agreed to until 5 April as part of the Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem project. The largest project is related to education. Fifteen schools have been remodelled, and 10 in 2018 alone. The value of those works is HRK 32 million. New school reconstruction projects, estimated at HRK 29.7 million, are being prepared, Marusic said, recalling an HRK 45-million irrigation project in Orubica.

Another important facet related to education in the county is the establishment of a university in Slavonski Brod, the two officials underscored.

Text: Hina