MARCH 19 2015 13:06h

HDZ against HPB's privatisation, oil rigs in Adriatic




Proposals for the privatisation of the Croatian Postal Bank (HPB) and companies of strategic national interest as well as plans for oil exploration in the Adriatic were opposed at a meeting of business people organised by the association of entrepreneurs and small business owners of the opposition Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party in Split on Wednesday evening.

"We are against the privatisation of the HPB and believe that the bank's mission should be to encourage small and medium enterprise," said the chair of the HDZ's Economy Committee, Marko Kolakovic.

Trade union leader Ozren Matijasevic, who was in the audience at the event, criticised the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development for being too centralised and neglecting rural areas in its activities.

Answering questions form the audience, Kolakovic said that the HDZ was opposed to any possible plans for the privatisation of the HEP power supplier, the Hrvatske Vode water management company of the Hrvatske Sume forest management company.

"Those are strategically important companies and we will not accept any attempts to possibly privatise them," said Kolakovic.

The head of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourism Board, Josko Stella of the HDZ, commented on the government's plan to grant concessions for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation in the Adriatic, saying that oil rigs in the Adriatic would cause inestimable damage to the tourism sector.

"Once it comes to power, the HDZ plans to focus on developing pleasure boat and cruise tourism and those tourists would not be thrilled to see possible oil rigs in our part of the Adriatic," said Kolakovic.

The chair of the HDZ's Finance Committee, Tomislav Coric, warned that tax rules in Croatia were frequently changed and that that discouraged investment.

"The latest statistics show that Croatia is ranked 133rd in the world in terms of investor protection," he said