Economy Minister Darko Horvat (Photo: HRT) Economy Minister Darko Horvat (Photo: HRT)

The role of the government, Horvat said, was to help Uljanik find a strategic partner who would be ready to carry half of the costs of restructuring. Under EU competition rules the government of any member state can only carry half the cost of restructuring. During a visit to Brussels on Thursday, Horvat said that despite having received a new restructuring proposal, it is still unclear whether Uljanik has found a suitable investor.

"Yesterday, I received a new plan, the seventh or eighth version of a restructuring plan, and it envisages a 50% stake from the strategic partner, and another 50% stake, about 660 million euros, put up by the state. What I'm not sure about is whether, right now, Uljanik has a strong strategic partner who is capable of following the dynamics of this type of restructuring,” Horvat said.

The minister added that, unlike three or four months ago, there were "two very concrete proposals, from two reputable shipbuilding groups” that have retained shipbuilding as their primary business.

"Italy’s Fincantieri and Ukraine’s Smart Holding have been given very clear guidelines and we’re trying to negotiate to enable them to enter the data room and to undertake thorough due diligence of everything that is going on and the specific financial situation at Treći Maj and Uljanik, so that they can make an offer that would satisfy both management and the Government, "Horvat said.