19:13 / 10.08.2021.

Author: Katja Miličić

PM tours Rijeka area with stops at shipyard and hospital construction site

Andrej Plenković

Andrej Plenković

Foto: - / HRT

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, accompanied by Health Minister Vili Beroš, Sea and Transportation Minister Oleg Butković, and other officials visited the Rijeka area on Tuesday.

The PM toured the construction site of a hospital in Rijeka's Sušak neighborhood. The future hospital will specialize in care for women and children. It is expected to be completed this fall, says the head of Rijeka's Clinical Hospital Center, Alen Ružić.

"With this kind of synergy and support, this project is going according to plan. Completion is expected on time,” Ružić said.

Prime Minister Plenković said this project was currently one of the largest investments in the health care system.

"We are talking about an investment that the Government is following closely and supports fully. We are watching the construction process closely,” he said.

Prime Minister Plenković and his team also visited the Treći maj shipyard, which continues to operate despite having faced serious financial difficulties over the past decade. A series of government-backed loans have kept the company afloat. The PM met with director Edi Kučan to discuss the government's support and how the docks can maintain production.

The shipyard is currently building three cargo ships for an Italian client and a polar cruiser. Kučan says the company is in negotiations for several new contracts.

"Treći maj is again a recognized company on the global market. We are working for third parties. We've are closing in on a certification deal with Fincantieri that would make us their dedicated contractor,” he said.

Italian group Fincantieri is the largest shipbuilder in Europe.

Treći maj is also nearing completion on a ship designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as cars and trucks that is being sold by auction. The company has received 13 offers. It is hoping to use the money from the sale to pay off a loan guaranteed by the government that it took out to re-launch production.

"Treći maj has shown that it is moving in the right direction. We are confident that the upcoming period will bring additional business and that we'll reach a point when the state's assistance will not be needed,” said Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić.

After struggling through much of the last decade the shipyard is still hanging on. The docks employ some 800 workers and 290 subcontractors.

Prime Minister Plenković wrapped up his Rijeka area tour with a stop in Opatija, where he met with tourism sector representatives. He said that despite the pandemic, Croatia is having a very good tourism season. Currently there are more than 1 million tourists on holiday in Croatia and most of them are foreigners. Plenković said revenues from so-called fiscalized transactions are higher than in 2019. Fiscalized devices that issue receipts are a way for the government to monitor transactions in order to avoid retailer fraud.

"What is really important is not just physical indicators like guest arrivals, but the value of fiscalized receipts. This is an important indicator, especially for campgrounds and hotels, which are seeing better results in July and August of this year than in 2019," said Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac.

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