In spite of Friday’s decision by the Commercial Court in Pazin to push the Uljanik Group into receivership, the Croatian Prime Minister is still hopeful of a possible deal with CSIC.
Asked to comment on the court’s ruling on Friday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković expressed his belief that the saga surrounding Uljanik is far from over. “I said this a few days ago, receivership isn't liquidation, this is a new step. This opens up opportunities for the workers. Labour Minister Marko Pavić is intensively working on ensuring the workers are paid out the unemployment insurance they are entitled to, and that through the relevant agency workers are paid out the salaries owed to them.”
The prime minister also voiced his hope that something would come of the negotiations with the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC).
For his part Economy Minister Darko Horvat said that the state budget would no longer be used to finance projects and companies with no perspective, but that he would continue negotiations with the owners of the ships currently under construction in the docks in Pula and Rijeka.
“I received the news about the receivership fully aware of the fact that some things that were in the final stages of negotiation regarding the three or four vessels in the docks, can be negotiated regardless of the receivership decision, so the process will continue. We are talking with the clients regarding possible models for the completion of the ships, whether that be in Pula or Rijeka, or somewhere else,” Minister Horvat said.
According to Minister Horvat, now that the Uljanik Group has been pushed into receivership, the state and banks have become the new joint owners of the ships awaiting completion. He also added that the second delegation from the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation is expected to arrive in Croatia on Monday. He declined however, to make any conclusive statements regarding the outcome of CSIC's second visit.
Finally, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić told reporters today that receivership was not necessarily the end of production at the docks in Pula and Rijeka. Regarding government's obligations to the shipyards, he said that following the 3.1 billion Kuna in state guarantees already paid for by the government, an additional 1.5 billion remain to be paid in.
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